07 October 2008
Unions mark World Day for Decent Work
Unions are marking World Day for Decent Work today with a call for employers to take the lead in guaranteeing labour hire workers the same pay and conditions as regular workers, ahead of legislation coming in requiring them to do so.
"Far too many workers are being employed through labour hire agencies or other third parties rather than directly by their employer," CTU president Helen Kelly said. "This means they receive lower pay, worse conditions and less job security than workmates who are working alongside them doing the exact same job."
Legislation recently introduced will ensure workers employed by labour hire companies get the same pay and conditions as the people they work alongside, if there's a collective agreement on site. Today union members will be talking to labour hire workers on their sites, explaining what rights they have now and how the proposed amendments will help them.
"We are also writing to companies asking them to become a leader in this area and implement the changes to comply with the new law now, rather than wait until legislation is passed."
"Some employers already do comply - such as NZ Steel, where EPMU members have had for twenty years a clause in their collective agreement ensuring any contractors on site will have the same wages as a union member covered by the collective agreement."
"We're also asking companies using labour hire to only do business with companies that will comply with the new law now," Helen Kelly said.