Adero Law filed a class action in the Federal Court on 4 February 2019 against labour hire company WorkPac for the misclassification of workers and underpayment of employment entitlements on behalf of claimants working at various Black Coal mining sites in Queensland and New South Wales. If you have been employed as a casual by WorkPac at any time since 4 February 2013, and work or worked at a Black Coal mining site in accordance with a long form roster, it is not too late to join this action.
On 4 February 2019, Adero Law filed a class action lawsuit against WorkPac Pty Ltd (WorkPac), alleging that WorkPac misclassified its workers as ‘casual’ employees, rather than permanent employees with the appropriate statutory entitlements.
WorkPac is one of Australia’s largest labour hire companies, holding commercial contracts with mining giants BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Glencore, and has an annual turnover of more than $1.3 billion.
The class action against WorkPac has been brought by Mr. Matthew Petersen, on behalf of himself and many thousands of coal mining workers in the same or similar circumstances to him (claimants).
The claimants allege that although they were employed by WorkPac as ‘casual’ employees, as they were working to long-term rosters, they were in reality ‘permanent’ employees. Due to that misclassification, the claimants are owed unpaid annual and personal leave entitlements, which they now claim from WorkPac.
The class action is progressing through the Court process. WorkPac has filed its response to the claimants’ allegations (defence), and the claimants have filed their reply to WorkPac’s defence. We have made submissions, on Mr Petersen’s behalf, in a related proceeding in the interests of all claimants in the class action. Further orders as to the progress of the class action will be made in due course.
It is clear that the Black Coal industry has made it common practice to casualise a large part of its workforce, to create a two-tier workforce. Many thousands of workers are eligible to join the class action and fight for compensation.
“Adero is bringing the fight to big mining. The industry is failing its employees at a time when it is making the fattest profits. You’ve been told to wait for that permanent shirt, but permanent gigs left this industry five years ago. You now earn less money than miners were getting 15 years ago – but people stay silent and pretend that it’s normal. It is not normal for a casual worker to be paid substantially less than a permanent employee. It is not normal for one worker to earn up to $75,000.00 more per year than another worker doing the same job, on the same roster – just wearing a different shirt. I know you fear for your jobs but waiting and fearing leads to nothing. Without you, there’s no industry, and no profit. We have got to stop this happening to your family, your community and your career. It’s time to take this fight head on!” – Rory Markham, Adero Law’s Managing Principal.
Adero Law encourages anyone who worked for WorkPac at a Black Coal mining site, to a long-term roster, from 4 February 2013 to register for this class action.
Please contact Adero Law via the “Register Interest” button to receive further information about your options and legal rights.