Union at odds with Bowen on foreign workers
A major union is at odds with the Federal Government about the number of overseas workers to be brought in for the Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara.
The Government announced the first enterprise migration agreement (EMA) last Friday, giving the green light for 1,700 foreign workers to be brought in to help build the mine.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says they will be the only overseas workers employed on the project.
But Dave Noonan from the Construction, Forestry and Mining Union says he believes other foreigners could be brought in on 457 visas for skilled tradespeople.
“It’s been repeatedly stated that 1,700 is the maximum and that’s been repeated by many elements of the media,” he said.
“But we’ve always been very clear and have always stated that our understanding is that 1,700 provides a limit only in respect of the non-trades, and that at the trades and above level there is capacity to bring in more workers on 457s.”
“If that’s formally contradicted by the minister and its ruled out, well we’d be very pleased to hear it but that’d be a change in direction.”
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