WORKPLACE Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson confirmed that Zinifex Australia Ltd (Zinifex) is being prosecuted by the workplace regulator in the Federal Court of Australia for allegedly applying duress to four workers in connection with an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) at the company’s former Hobart smelter.
“Duress to a worker by anyone in connection with a workplace agreement is intolerable and utterly unlawful. We have warned all participants in the workplace many times that we will prosecute those we allege to have engaged in such conduct as with Zinifex and we will continue to do so,” Wilson said.
The Workplace Ombudsman alleges that Zinifex applied undue pressure in connection with AWA’s to four employees of Skilled Group Ltd and the TESA Group Pty Ltd (TESA) when they were working at Zinifex’s former Hobart smelter.
The duress is alleged to have consisted of threats to the workers that their services would no longer be required by Zinifex if they did not agree to AWA’s offered by their employers Skilled and TESA.
The allegations were brought to the Workplace Ombudsman’s attention by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Tasmanian Branch who represent workers employed at Zinifex’s former Hobart smelter.
“The Workplace Ombudsman takes allegations of duress in connection with workplace agreements extremely seriously. Any worker who is concerned that they are being subject to undue to pressure should immediately contact the Workplace Ombudsman on 1300 724 200 or at www.wo.gov.au,” Nicholas Wilson said.