Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Alannah MacTiernan Right About 457 Visas

Alannah MacTiernan, Labor's Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia, is absolutely right to raise concerns about the way the 457 visa program is being used to damage the job prospects of Australian workers and undermine their working conditions.

Earlier this year the Liberal Government removed the requirement for offshore resources companies to test the Australian labour market before employing overseas workers. This was the wrong thing to do. It is only reasonable that employers should be required to ascertain whether there are Australian workers ready, willing and able to do a job before bringing in migrant workers to do it.

Now Alannah MacTiernan has noted that the pipe-laying contractor Saipem has advised workers that it is exploring using non-Australian labour to lay pipes for the Inpex project in Western Australia's north. At a time when Australia when over 750,000 Australians are out of work, this should not be allowed.

But it is even worse. The workforce is being told – surprise, surprise – they need to agree to move to four week swings, from the current three weeks – if they are to have any chance of saving some jobs for Australians. These jobs involve working 12-14 hours a day. So migrant workers are once again being used as a battering ram against working conditions for Australian workers.
The claim that 457 visas don't hurt Australian workers is yet again revealed as false.

1 comment:

  1. WA Premier has said that when a state public servant retires or resigns it will result in the budget for that position being reduced to 60% of the salary of the outgoing officer. He has introduced a potentially draconian Terminator Act that could enable retrenchment of public sector staff. Possibly thinking of importing replacement labour?