Five security guards have collectively received more than $52,000 in back-pay, after a years-long dispute with their employer.
The United Workers Union represented four of the guards at the Fair Work Commission last year, arguing their employer MSS Security had failed to pay them at the correct rate for their work at the Bendigo Thales site.
The guards were originally graded and paid under a level one job classification and after a dispute was raised in 2016, they were reclassified at level two in January 2017.
Later another dispute was raised, and the union took the matter to the Fair Work Commission.
The union argued that the work expected of the guards fell within the higher level three classification.
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None had received back-pay following their reclassification to level two in 2017.
One of the security guards had worked at the site since 2010, two from 2012, and one from 2014.
However, MSS argued the site was classified at level two and the security guards' duties fell within this classification.
But Fair Work Commissioner David Gregory determined last December that the tasks and responsibilities of the guards meant their positions were within level three.
However, he did not make orders for back-pay, as sought by the union, stating "this claim extends beyond the Commission's arbitral powers".
The Fair Work Commission bench upheld the decision in March after an appeal by MSS.
The United Workers Union said it wrote to MSS, asking for back-pay for the workers, and filed a proceeding in the Federal Circuit Court when the company did not respond.
A fifth worker was added to the matter at this point.
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But the union said MSS last week agreed to back-pay the five workers a total of $52,075.33.
Security guard Peter Watkinson said it was a relief, but the process should never have taken so long.
"It's been very unfair we've had to wait so long to get back the money that was ours in the first place," Mr Watkinson said.
He said the managers had failed to let the guards' duties and responsibilities determine their classification.
He said the workers tried to have the situation fixed, but alleged MSS "didn't want to know about it".
"Cases like these highlight the need for wage theft legislation," United Workers Union Victorian spokeswoman Susie Allison said.
This week legislation passed in Victoria that establishes criminal penalties for employers that deliberately withhold pay and other employee entitlements.
The Bendigo Advertiser has contacted MSS Security, but the company has not yet responded.
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