Prompted by a statement (12 September) by United Voice (UV) that ‘Contractors working at the Melbourne Cricket Ground are systematically cheating cleaners by paying them up to $16 an hour less than their legal pay and insisting they complete unpaid work’, prime contractor ISS is investigating the Union’s claims.
‘Under-payments of sub-contracted international students are common at the MCG, according to an investigation by United Voice, the cleaners’ union.
‘The investigation revealed that cleaners employed directly by the contracted cleaning company, ISS, were in some cases paid almost double the pay of cleaners engaged by the sub-contractor First Placement Consultants. However, there was evidence cleaners employed by ISS were also missing out on legal entitlements.
‘The findings of the investigation have been referred to the industrial umpire, the Fair Work Ombudsman, to blow the whistle on the rorts. The FWO has confirmed that it has launched an inquiry,’ said the United Voice post written by Ian Munro.
ISS then responded saying it ‘is aware that allegations of foreign worker exploitation have been made against us by United Voice regarding cleaners employed at the MCG.
‘We take this allegation very seriously as we pride ourselves on being an ethical employer. We believe in paying people fairly and treating them with respect.
‘While it is always our company’s preference to self-deliver, some projects do require sub-contractors because of the variable nature of the work required. We do use a sub-contractor at the MCG to provide some cleaning services.
‘All of our contracts stipulate that any subcontractors must meet all legal obligations, including providing a safe workplace and paying people appropriately and fairly and in line with the award or industrial instrument.
‘We’ve contacted First Placement and we are investigating these allegations and working with them to ensure they are adhering to the conditions of their contract.
‘Allegations such as this have been made before, earlier in 2014, and were found to be untrue. We will work closely with Fair Work to investigate this claim.’