Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced today that his government will be bowing to pressure from big business and reopening the international border to temporary migrant workers from the 1st of December. There is no independent verification of labour shortages.
The Morrison Government is allowing big business to return to a business model that relies on the exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers rather than creating secure jobs, investing in local workers and developing skills.
While job vacancies are growing post lockdown, there are still an estimated three million workers in Australia either looking for work or after more hours. 13.1 per cent of young people are unemployed.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“The Morrison Government is choosing not support local workers to get a job or more hours and instead giving a green light to big business to bring back hundreds of thousands of vulnerable migrant workers on temporary visas.
“In many sectors we have a fair pay and job security shortage, not a labour shortage
“The Prime Minister has once again caved to big business and turned his back on workers – just when workers had the chance to fight for the first decent pay rises after 8 years of stagnant wages, he’s pulled the rug from underneath them.
“The Morrison Government should be taking the opportunity presented by the recovery from the pandemic to create secure jobs and boost wages, but instead they are encouraging more insecure work and a record-breaking stretch of low wage growth.
“The Morrison Government should support permanent migration that ensures migrant workers have rights and decent pay and working conditions, rather than creating a model that traps migrant workers in a cycle of abuse and exploitation.”