INQUIRY INTO EXPLOITATION OF CLEANERS IN DEVONPORT TODAY

25 Jul 2018

A Senate inquiry into some of Tasmania’s lowest paid workers being systemically ripped off will convene in Devonport today.

INQUIRY INTO EXPLOITATION OF CLEANERS IN DEVONPORT TODAY

 

A Senate inquiry into some of Tasmania’s lowest paid workers being systemically ripped off will convene in Devonport today.

 

The inquiry into the exploitation of retail cleaners follows a damning Fair-Work Ombudsman’s report into workplace practices at large retail chains in Tasmania.

 

The FWO’s investigation found that 90 percent of Woolworths’ Tasmanian stores were in breach of industrial awards.

 

New South Wales Senator Doug Cameron said contract cleaners were among the most vulnerable and low paid workers in Australia.

 

“The fact that these low-paid, vulnerable workers are being ripped off for the little they earn is disgraceful,” Senator Cameron said.

 

“Woolworths recently posted a 38 per cent increase in its half yearly profits to almost $1 billion, yet the people cleaning its stores are being systematically ripped off.”

 

The FWO’s investigation into the Tasmanian retail cleaning industry found that cleaning companies contracted by large retailers are setting up multiple sham subcontracting companies to hide their non-compliance with workplace laws and awards.

 

The FWO investigation also found:

 

  • widespread and significant underpayment of wages

  • 84 per cent of records either inaccurate or false

  • corporate structures that rely on engaging vulnerable workers

  • inadequate monitoring of cleaning staff

  • employees not being issued pay slips

 

Unions, cleaners, Woolworths and industry representatives are among those making submissions to today’s inquiry.

 

Senator Cameron said wage theft, penalty rate cuts and the Liberals attacks on health, education and pensions are combining to hurt Tasmanian families.

 

“When schools and hospitals aren’t properly funded, when workers rights are trampled on and the big banks are rewarded with tax cuts, you know the system isn’t working,” he said.

“Labor will properly fund our schools and hospitals, we will restore penalty rates and we won’t give $17 billion in tax cuts to the big banks.”

 


WEDNESDAY, 25  JULY 2018