Friday, May 19, 2017

ACTU: Government bows to business on 457 visas

19 May 2017

The Turnbull Government is already back-flipping on its minuscule changes to the rort-plagued 457 visa program after lobbying from big business. 

These changes would allow occupations, which the Government is aware have been rorted in the past, back onto the program.

Occupations such as Marketing Specialist and Retail Buyer will be allowed back into the program, despite evidence that these titles were being used to hire low-skilled clerical staff and retail assistants — jobs which should be filled by local workers.

In addition, reports indicate that Ships Engineer will be reintroduced to the program, compounding the problems faced by local seafarers who are forced to compete with international crews being paid cents on the dollar.

These changes will not only ensure that there are fewer jobs available for Australians, more of whom than ever need more work than they can find, but will also expose vulnerable international labourers to exploitation by employers keen to cut corners and costs wherever they can.

Quotes attributable to Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus:

  • “The changes to the 457 program proposed by the Government just last month did not go far enough and it is shameful that only a few weeks later they are backing away from them.”
  • “This is just another example of how the power has shifted too far in favour of big businesses, which can pick and choose the rules they want to follow, with full support of the Turnbull Government.”
  • “This is a government which is putting the interests of business ahead of working people again and again. Australians who are struggling to find more work need to know that this government is actively working against them.”
  • “The Turnbull Government claims its visa changes are about ensuring Australians have the opportunity to work, but here they are under-cutting the Australian labour market by allowing employers to use foreign workers for jobs which locals are qualified for and ready to fill.”

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