MUA prevails in High Court fight for workers’ rights

Published on Thu 1 September 2016 2:01pm

Federal Labor Member for Fremantle, Josh Wilson MP today welcomed a High Court ruling that supports the rights of Australian workers and prevents the exploitation of foreign workers employed in the offshore oil and gas industry.

“This decision by the High Court is an important win for fair and safe workplace conditions for those who work offshore, and I congratulate the MUA and AMOU for taking on and winning this important fight,” said Mr Wilson.

“It is clear the Minister exceeded her powers in the ideological quest to undermine the sensible workplace framework that supports Australian offshore oil and gas workers and ensures that any foreign workers are not exploited.”

“A sensible and responsible government would not be turning itself inside out to make life harder for Australian workers, and it shouldn’t be necessary for unions to take court action to defend basic rights and protections, but we should be grateful that in this case the MUA and AMOU have fought all the way to the High Court and won.”

By ruling the Minister’s action invalid, the High Court has supported the right of Australian workers to the benefit of proper regulation and protection, and it has affirmed the importance of the Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Act, introduced by the Labor Government in 2013.

On Wednesday, the High Court of Australia ruled in favour of the Maritime Union of Australian (MUA) and the Australian Maritime Officer’s Union (AMOU) in their battle against the Turnbull government’s determination to exempt some offshore oil and gas workers from requirements to hold permanent or temporary work visas, and have the benefit of Australian workplace regulations.

Minister Michaelia Cash had earlier used a Ministerial determination to achieve the dangerous weakening of Australia’s framework of workplace regulation when she couldn’t achieve that through normal parliamentary processes.

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