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A big week for South Australian workers gives them a lot to celebrate

December 02, 2022

Both the Secure Jobs better pay bill, and the respect at work bill, passed through the federal parliament this week, and here at home, we saw the South Australian Government unveil its industrial manslaughter legislation.

"It's been a long, few years for South Australian workers; it's not often that there's this much to celebrate at once. I'd encourage everyone to take a moment to pause and reflect on a week of historic wins, because there's still a lot more to achieve, and we've always got more work to do," said Dale Beasley, SA Unions Secretary.


In Canberra late last night Senator David Pocock joined with the Government, the Greens and some crossbench MPs in the lower house to vote in favour of wage growth for working people, and to reject the scare campaign which has been run by big business against the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill.

"The bargaining system has been broken for a long time. Wages haven't been keeping up with the cost of living, even when workforce productivity and profitability are through the roof," said Beasley.

"Australia needs a pay rise, and this bill makes the system fairer and simpler for workers," said Beasley.


Earlier this week, we saw the passage of the Respect@Work Bill, which enacts several of the key recommendations of the Respect@Work report which were ignored by the previous Government.

"Bosses will no longer be able to sweep sexual harassment under the rug. All employers will now need to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimisation at work," said Beasley.

"To put it simply, it's about bloody time. The previous government ignored the recommendations, and didn't just stick their head in the sand, they were responsible for some of the most egregious examples of why this bill was needed," said Beasley.


A new law in SA unveiled this week, could see bosses jailed for up to 20 years, if a worker dies and they are found to have been reckless or grossly negligent (with corporates fined up to $15 million).

"For too long the weight of industrial deaths has been carried by workers, families and first responders. Industrial manslaughter laws will ensure that the bosses who cause these deaths through their own negligence are held to account. If you kill a worker, you should go to jail," said Beasley.

"It's not about beating up on bosses, it's about sending the message that workers' lives aren't a line item on a balance sheet," said Beasley.