CORANGAMITE Labor candidate Libby Coker was joined by Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations Lisa Chesters this week for a roundtable meeting on labour hire practices.
The event, held at Geelong Trades Hall, was attended by workers from the disability and construction sectors, who spoke about concerns including the lack of minimum shifts and the increasing casualisation of the workforce.
“If you refuse work, you don’t get work; it puts a lot of stress on your family,” one worker said.
Ms Coker said it was time to take action against a “crisis that is stripping working people of their dignity and ability to provide for their families”.
She said she organised the meeting as many locals were hurting as a result of unfair labour hire practices and the abuse of 457-style visas.
“The issue of unfair labour hire is out of controland urgent action is required. Our community and
local economy are suffering as a result.
“I am hearing stories about workers being sacked and offered their job back at reduced pay and young people being locked out of the housing market.
“Too many labour hire workers are being treated like second class citizens, with lower wages, worse conditions and no job security. The big multinationals have proven to be some of the worst offenders.”
Ms Chesters congratulated Ms Coker for calling the roundtable meeting.
“Libby Coker has always proven herself to be a strong and vocal advocate for the local community, especially on the issue of workers’ rights,” she said.
“We want locals to tell us their stories so we can advocate on their behalf in Canberra.”
Ms Chesters said she was considering organising a summit for workers involved with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged care.