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Wage theft hurting Tasmanian workers

  • All workers deserve fair conditions and protection from exploitation
  • Labor calls for a Parliamentary inquiry

Revelations that retail giant Coles has been responsible for around $20 million worth of wage theft from Australian workers should concern every Tasmanian.

Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations Michelle O’Byrne said this was the latest in a series of massive cases of worker exploitation around the country.

“Tasmanian workers are paid on average $10,000 less than people in the same jobs on the mainland – that’s almost $200 every week.  Wage theft makes it even harder for Tasmanians to make ends meet,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“We understand that up to 50 Tasmanian workers may have been impacted.  That is 50 people who have not been paid fairly for the work they undertook for their employer.

“Wage theft is hurting hundreds of thousands of workers across the country and this is another illustration that Tasmania is not immune. 

“Let me be clear – wage theft is theft. If the Liberals really want to be tough on crime they should be tough on employers that steal from their workers.” 

Ms O’Byrne said a Parliamentary Inquiry into worker conditions is needed.

“Labor will seek to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry in 2020 into wage theft and insecure work. 

“There is a need for new wage theft laws to combat systematic, widespread or blatant under and non-payment of wages and other employment benefits.

“Such an inquiry must not be limited in a way that would prevent investigation of labour hire practices.”

Michelle O’Byrne MP – Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations