First Nations Workers Alliance

CPSU signs up to the First Nations Workers Alliance (FNWA)

Last week the CPSU signed up to become a union member supporting the First Nations Worker Alliance (FNWA). The FNWA was set up by Australian Unions to give a voice to workers in the Community Development Program (CDP).

People receiving welfare in remote areas can be forced to participate in the Community Development Program (CDP).  This can be for a local council, a not for profit organisation or any other employer. There are 35,000 CDP workers with 84% of them being indigenous.

CDP workers are not actually classified as workers. They get paid well below the minimum wage (the dole pays $11.60/hour or $290/week) for compulsorily working for 25 hours a week for non-profit and now for-profit businesses. 

They are not covered by the Fair Work Act, they don’t have Federal OHS protections or workers compensation and they can’t take annual leave, sick leave or carer’s leave.

Those under the CDP are forced to work up to three times longer than city-based jobseekers to receive welfare payments. Since July 2015, less than 3,500 Indigenous participants found full-time or part-time work lasting six months or more.

Forcing people to work for less than minimum wage with no rights is just plain wrong

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