Mining companies would be required to directly employ at least 80 per cent of workers on their sites and mining bosses would face jail time if they breached a new industrial manslaughter offence put forward by Labor as part of a plan to make the mining industry more secure and safe.
Labor's five-point plan to improve the mining industry would also require mining companies to engage in safe and fair workplace practices, ensure labour hire workers received the same pay as directly employed workers and deliver a local jobs test to offset the impacts of automation and casual employment.
Upper Hunter candidate Jeff Drayton said the changes would be part of a bill that he would introduce to State Parliament if elected on May 22.
The changes would apply to planning conditions for new mines and for the extension and modification of existing mining licenses.
"I know exactly what it's like to work on a mine. Mine workers have been fighting for job security while mining companies cut permanent jobs and replace them with casual labour hire. We need to everything we can to restore permanent secure jobs to the mining industry," Mr Drayton said.
"This is about taking every opportunity we can to make sure mining workers are getting their fair share out of mining companies"
Opposition leader Jodi McKay said too many workers were working full-time hours without the benefits of full-time work such as job security and paid holidays.
"How are people supposed to look after their families or pay off a mortgage without a secure job?," she said.
"Labor's plan for secure, safer workplaces is about making sure that mine workers - who create so much of this region's wealth - get a fair go. That means a job they can count on and a workplace that's safe."
In response, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro warned Labor's plan would put thousands of jobs at risk.
"This is typical of Labor, looking after their union mates," he said.
"Yesterday they were doing the bidding of the Teachers' union on TAFE, and today the Labor candidate and CFMEU member has gone into bat for his own union.
Many contract staff do not join unions, and Labor is trying to impose a handbrake on mining employers in a blatant recruitment drive for the unions."
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CFMEU launches ads attacking IR law changes
The mining union has launched a series of advertisements attacking One Nation and the Coalition over changes to industrial relations laws.
CFMEU Northern Mining and NSW Energy District President Peter Jordan said , while workplace laws are federally administered, the actions of the Nationals and One Nation proved their claims to support coal miners were empty rhetoric.
"Whether federal or state, these are politicians that love doing a photo shoot in a coal mine, they love talking up coal - but what have they ever done to progress the interests of mineworkers? Nothing," said Mr Jordan.
"They'll pretend to be the coal miners' best friend, then stab them in the back when the companies want their support to cut workers' pay and conditions. That's why we are saying to mineworkers, the Nationals and One Nation don't deserve your vote."
The union estimates about 40 per cent of Hunter Valley coal miners are labour hire contractors, mostly casual. Labour hire miners typically earn 30-40 per cent less than directly employed mineworkers.
It estimates this employment practice costs the Hunter Valley nearly $300 million a year in economic activity.
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