News State QLD News Commonwealth Games workers still unpaid

Commonwealth Games workers still unpaid

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SERT teams were at the sharp end of extensive security measures at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Photo: ABC
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Some security contractors who worked at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games are still waiting to be paid hundreds of dollars, almost a month after the event.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is making enquiries into the delays.

Four security companies were contracted to ensure the games ran smoothly including Wilson, MSS Security, SecureCorp and SNP Security – some of which had hired their own subcontractors.

It’s understood only one of those four companies has invoiced GOLDOC for the services it provided.

A Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) spokesman said it was not responsible for paying the security workforce directly.

He said while there are “outstanding payments to some security guards” relating to allowances and overtime, it was up to private security contractors to invoice the organisation.

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A GOLDOC spokesman says it is not its responsibility to pay the security workforce directly. Photo: AAP

“GOLDOC is informed that the majority of security staff have been paid their base wage,” he said.

“GOLDOC has met all of its financial commitments to the contracted companies with funding provided prior to the commencement of the Games.

“Where individual matters are brought to GOLDOC’s attention, GOLDOC works directly with the contractor to resolve the matter.

“It is GOLDOC’s expectation that all security guards will be paid and any outstanding issues are being progressed as a priority.”

Unclear how many have had payment problems

About 4000 security guards were subcontracted for the Games but it was not clear exactly how many have experienced payment problems.

One security guard – who does not want to be named – told ABC News the payments stopped coming during the event in April, despite no previous problems since beginning work in January.

“It was at the point where I was behind in two car payments, I was struggling with my rent, and I couldn’t even afford to put food on my table and pay other bills,” the security guard said.

“The problem I had was the last two weeks of it that I didn’t get paid for it.”

The man received a large payment late last week after ABC News made enquiries, but he said he was still owed an additional $800.

Another man in Townsville in north Queensland said he was not paid for two overnight 12-hour shifts.

“It’s a bit of a stuff-up – it’s very frustrating because it’s 24 hours of my time and I didn’t get paid for it,” he said.

Fair Work Ombudsman looking into the matter

Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said she hoped it would be sorted out quickly.

“I expect everyone employed during the Commonwealth Games to be paid for their work,” Ms Jones said.

“I urge these contractors to do the right thing by their employees – lodge their invoices and pay their staff.”

A spokeswoman for the Fair Work Ombudsman said staff were looking into the matter.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently making inquiries in relation to security guards who were engaged to work at the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” the spokeswoman said.

Wilson, MSS Security, SecureCorp and SNP Security have been contacted for comment.


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