As a dedicated representative of the people, I must shed light on fraudulent practices that have led to extensive wage theft and the deprivation of rights for coal miners in Hunter Valley and Central Queensland. In this blog, I will concisely account for the events surrounding this issue and the need for justice to prevail.
On April 14, 2015, the labor hire company Chandler Macleod Group, in collaboration with the Hunter Valley CFMEU, submitted an enterprise agreement to the Fair Work Commission for approval. It was approved despite the agreement's failure to meet the BOOT assessment and containing false information. This agreement resulted in coal miners being paid below the Black Coal Mining Industry Award, stripping them of protections and entitlements such as workers' compensation, annual leave, and more.
The Damning Deal:
During a meeting on April 13, 2015, the Hunter CFMEU reached an agreement with the Chandler Macleod Group to refrain from advocating for the entitlements and interests of miners. This agreement betrayed the miners, leaving them without rightful compensation and protection.
The Plight of Simon Turner:
One of the affected miners, Mr Simon Turner, has been fighting for his entitled benefits since sustaining a severe injury almost nine years ago. He has been denied compensation and has faced significant obstacles. The collision between the Hunter CFMEU, Chandler Macleod Group, and the Fair Work Commission has resulted in the denial of black coal entitlements and the endorsement of an agreement that fails to meet statutory requirements.
The Missing Assessment:
An enterprise agreement must pass the Fair Work Commission's better-off overall test (BOOT) to be endorsed. However, evidence has recently emerged that the BOOT assessment was never conducted for this agreement, including Mr Turner's case. The absence of this assessment renders the contract invalid, demanding a comprehensive review to ensure miners receive their rightful entitlements.
Despite challenges and misrepresentations from both Labor and LNP governments, we have fought for justice for the past four years. Our dedication remains unwavering, and we will continue to advocate relentlessly until Mr Turner and his fellow coal miners in Hunter Valley and Central Queensland receive the compensation and justice they deserve.
At One Nation, we support workers and uphold the values of honesty, fairness, and justice. The plight of coalminers in Hunter Valley and Central Queensland is urgent and demands resolution. By exposing fraudulent behaviour and fighting for their entitlements, we strive to ensure that Australian workers receive a fair go and the justice they deserve.