Workers on Perth Airport extension unpaid for six weeks

Some workers employed at the Perth International Airport extension project say they have not been paid for up to six weeks.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says up to 50 workers have not been paid and some employees are owed up to $15,000.

Ian is one of those employees.

“Haven’t been paid for seven weeks, employer taking 10 per cent out for super hasn’t been put in, total money owed $10,700,” he said.

“We give employer about two weeks to pay, that’s standard, but we can’t go past that.”

$300 million is set to be spent on the expansion.

The CFMEU’s Mick Buchan says given that budget, he cannot understand why some workers have not been paid.

“Guys are putting up the walls in the terminal, [and it’s a] high risk, dangerous job,” he said.

“[The] last thing they need to be worried about is whether they’re going to be paid on a weekly basis.”

The company in charge of the expansion, Leighton Holdings owned Broad Construction Services, says it has paid the subcontractor involved.

Broad declined an interview but provided a statement:

‘The CFMEU advised Broad Construction Services of its concern that a business, working for a subcontractor engaged by Broad, had not paid employees,” it stated.

‘Broad has paid all monies due to the relevant subcontractor in accordance with contractual terms and conditions, and met its obligations for safeguarding payments and conditions for subcontractor employees.’

The union identified the subcontractor as Conceil Interiors and Exteriors.

The CFMEU’s Mick Buchan says workers are in a terrible position.

“Got some young fellas owed $1000, Chinese Australians haven’t been paid from day one, owed $15,000 each,” he said.

“Appalling position to be in, to add to that, workers have not been paid superannuation.”

The CFMEU says Perth Airport has committed to helping resolve the issue.

Mr Buchan says the airport is immediately giving workers $1,000 to help with expenses and have guaranteed the payment of all outstanding wages.

“Every worker has been messed around with payments, reports of guys lost their cars, penalties on mortgages – can’t leave this work because nothing else to go to,”he said.

Teenage apprentice Will hopes he will see some money soon.

“My first job in the industry, haven’t been paid – $1,050 can buy a lot of things,” he said.

“Not going out with my mates, thought I was going to be paid weekly, all good but no.”

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