Bill Shorten Reveals Plan to Tackle ‘Systemic Worker Exploitation’ Transportation

Labor Party’s Oppositional Leader Bill Shorten will file a number of congressional measures to abolish the “systemic worker exploitation” among Australians.

Measures will include giving more power to the Fair Work Ombudsman and increasing penalties for the employers who underpay their workers, Sky News Australia reported.

Sky News enumerated the Labor’s workplace reforms as the following:

  • Significantly increased penalties for employers who deliberately and systemically avoid paying their employees properly
  • Strengthen legal protections for workers’ entitlements and increasing penalties
  • Give the Fair Work Ombudsman more power to pursue employers who liquidate their companies in order to avoid paying the money they owe their workers
  • Introduce reforms to ensure that temporary overseas workers are not being exploited and underpaid and that there is a level playing field for all workers in Australia.

Worker exploitation in large companies like 7-Eleven and Pizza Hut prompted Shorten to push for changes to protect the rights of the workers. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the workplace reforms comes after last year’s Fairfax Media investigation on 7-Eleven stores which are caught massively underpaying their workers and forging payrolls. The investigation also revealed Pizza Hut contracting drivers at $12 an hour.

Shorten said that the workers’ exploitation in big companies mentioned is just a tip of the iceberg.  There were far more exploited Australian workers locally and internationally.

“Malcolm Turnbull talks about better conditions for workers – but as with everything else, he says one thing and does something completely different. As the Liberals refuse to act, Labor will. More must be done to protect these workers from exploitation,” Shorten told SMH.

Shorten also blames the Liberal Party for keeping silent amid the labor exploitation issue. The Labor Party will soon conduct consultations among employers and workers for the final provisions of the measures. Labors plan to pass the worker protection plan soon.

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