SIHIP petition date extended and now online

This petition is being sponsored Unions NT and the CFMEU. It demands justice for Aboriginal people working for Centrelink payments, half quarantined on a ‘BasicsCard’, as part of the reformed Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) introduced alongside the NT Intervention.

The petition has a particular focus on the use of CDEP workers by the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP). We are demanding backpay at appropriate award rates for all of these workers, along with an end to arrangements forcing people to work for the BasicsCard and investment in community based employment programs across all Aboriginal communities.

The exploitation suffered by these workers was first documented by two articles in Crikey last November http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/12/workers-say-theyre-being-ripped-off-under-indigenous-housing-program/

Since then, the CFMEU has taken up the case of the SIHIP workers. Senator Mark Arbib claimed again in February that every hour worked on SIHIP has been paid at award rates. But time-sheets and pay-slips obtained by workers at Amoonguna prove that despite records of working up to 50 hours a fortnight, workers were only ever paid for 15 hours. Others only received Centrelink and the ‘BasicsCard’.

More than 2000 people have so far signed hard copies of this petition – thanks for all the support!

The return date set for the petition was originally March 15. However, due to irregular sittings of parliament, the petition will not be presented to the Senate until May 12, giving us more time to build support.

Sign the petition online here: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43996.html

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