Speech in Federation Chamber
22 November 2021
Watch the speech here
This morning I proudly seconded a bill by the Leader of the Opposition, the Fair Work Amendment (Same Job, Same Pay) Bill 2021.
I did so because I believe that the Morrison government's continued failings need to be called out. It's about time hardworking Australians got the same pay for the same work.
We have staggering inequality in industries such as nursing, hospitality, mining and construction, just to name a few. This is a consequence of shonky operators exploiting workers and not paying fair wages for fair work. The Morrison government has let that happen.
Labor believes that workers doing the same job at the same mine, factory, site or hospital should get the same pay.
The Prime Minister likes to talk about the Australian way. Well, same job, same pay is the Australian way, and Labor wants the true Australian way.
I speak to many workers in my electorate, such as miners, who tell me, 'Meryl, we don't want to be casual.' One bloke I spoke to had been working at the same pit with the same crew for six years and still hadn't got a look-in at a full-time job. He was on $50,000 less than the blokes next to him who are permanent. That has cost his family more than $300,000 in lost wages and that's not including lost super and lost leave entitlements.
Labor has one message to the workers in industry and this country: Labor will make sure you get equal pay for equal work.