Our employers have an addiction problem.
They are addicted to vulnerable easily exploited temporary overseas workers. And with 1.2 million people on temporary visas with work rights currently in Australia (more than a tenth of the workforce), they’ve got plenty of people to exploit.
But they also have an aversion. An aversion to advertising jobs to local workers or training them.
The Abbott Government is feeding this addiction through failing to regulate the system that creates these abuses. They allow labour hire companies to flaunt Australian labour laws as revealed in recent exposés where workers tell stories of exploitation, terrible living conditions and harassment.
We are way past the few rotten apples myth. This is a systemic attempt by companies to undermine the labour standards that we have fought for. The fact that labour hire agencies get to pick who they give work to when and how is bad for all workers, but it’s even worse for workers who are too scared to stand up and speak out.
Labour hire companies should not be allowed to hire temporary work visas. They mustn’t be allowed to exploit vulnerable overseas workers and they mustn’t be allowed to drive down the wages and conditions of local workers.
Please sign our petition telling Peter Dutton the Immigration Minister to put a stop to this abuse and stand up for jobs for locals.
CFMEU National Secretary