Historic Pay Rise for Callide Mine Workers: Same Job Same Pay Laws in Action

Australia, Workforce

In a groundbreaking decision, the Fair Work Commission has ordered a pay rise for nearly 350 labour hire workers at Batchfire’s Callide mine in Central Queensland. This marks the first order under the new Same Job Same Pay laws, aiming to bridge the wage gap between labour hire and permanent employees.

MEU Queensland President Mitch Hughes praised the decision, stating that labour hire workers often receive $10,000 to $20,000 less annually than their directly employed counterparts. Hughes emphasised that the new laws are working as intended, preventing employers from using labour hire workers to undermine collective bargaining pay rates.

The order, which will come into effect on 1 November, requires Workpac’s pay rates to align with the Batchfire Enterprise Agreement. This agreement covers direct employees at Callide mine. According to the Fair Work Commission’s draft order, Batchfire Callide (the mine operator) and Workpac (the labour hire provider) must set a ‘protected rate of pay’ in line with the Batchfire Enterprise Agreement.

Labour hire production operator Josh Stevens, who has worked at Callide mine for six years, expressed his enthusiasm for the pay rise. He noted that the increase would significantly impact his family, especially since they had recently welcomed a newborn daughter. Stevens also highlighted the positive effect this decision would have on the local community, potentially encouraging more people to live and work in the area.

The MEU has vowed to continue filing applications across the mining industry, ensuring that the Same Job Same Pay laws lift pay and job security for all workers.