Driller fires migrant contractor at Pluto Gas project

The operator of a drilling rig at the Pluto Gas project has fired a contractor that supplied Filipino workers who were paid less than $3 per hour.

The operator of the Maersk Discover drilling rig sacked the company SurveySpec, which supplied the four migrant workers as marine painters, after finding out about the pay conditions.

Maersk Drilling Australia’s manager director Martin Flojgaard said that the workers will be flown to Perth and interviewed by Fairwork Australia, following the termination of the contract with the Perth based maintenance company, according to The West

The situation was brought to the attention of the driller by the Australian Workers Union (AWU) after claims that the workers had come to Australian on 456 visas.

"We’ve been told they will all get Australian pay rates back paid, following the expose of their slave labour pay," AWU national secretary Paul Howes said.

"Apart from ensuring the workers get paid properly the AWU-MUA Offshore Alliance understands that Immigration Department representatives will meet with the workers this morning. The Department wants to get information about how they came to work on Maersk Rigs, since 2009, at these slave rates, without anyone noticing," he said

Survey Spec is currently unavailable for contact.

Migrant workers are typically used to fill gaps in the mining industry due to the ongoing skills shortage, but this has been meet with widespread criticism.

However, Bernie Hogan from Site Work Ready has previously told Australian Mining that migrant workers are needed in the country to fill the skills shortfall and should be paid the same as Australians, which would not allow companies to source cheaper migrant workers over Australians.

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