The Morrison Government have caved to demands from some in big business, to restart routinely rorted visa systems and allow employers access to hundreds of thousands of easily exploited visa workers, rather than address the quality of jobs that are on offer – their security and pay.

Underemployment in Australia is appallingly high, and the total of underutilised workers in Australia is more than 3 million which equates to 20 per cent of the workforce. The number of Australians holding more than one job is the highest on record.

In regional parts of the country unemployment is even higher, particularly youth unemployment which can regularly be as high as 10 per cent.

Where employers are struggling to find workers, it is because Australians are sick and tired of working casual, insecure jobs that are underpaid and often don’t provide enough hours or shifts for workers to support themselves, let alone their families.

The Morrison Government could require employers to create more secure jobs for local workers but instead they are returning to business as usual, exploitation of migrant workers and local workers struggling to find hours.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“We have a pay rise and secure jobs shortage, not a labour shortage in our country.  We still have a record number of people wanting more hours and better job security, but rather than addressing this, Scott Morrison has delivered them access to the rorted work visa system which has been rife with exploitation.

“Too many employers have built business models on exploiting visa workers and they do not want to raise wages or offer permanent jobs. The Morrison Government has delivered them what they want and all workers will miss out as a result.

“Australian workers deserve a pay rise and they deserve better job security. We need to end business models that rely on exploitation, not enable them. The Government could be ensuring that local jobs are made available to local workers at reasonable rates and investing in TAFE and skills training to ensure that we have the skills needed to fill them, but instead they have once again prioritised the needs of business over working people.”