The Morrison government’s new ‘farm visa’ has already expanded to cover at least agriculture, fishing, forestry and delicatessen and contains many of the worst elements of previous visa programs that have resulted in exploitation and bad. systemic treatment of migrant workers as well as displacement of local jobs. It also does not properly check whether Australian workers are offered available jobs first.
Originally billed as a work visa for ASEAN member countries, the visa now has no restrictions on where workers come from, where they can work in Australia, what jobs they can do or where they can work. number of visas available.
A fact sheet on the program released by the Home Office shows that no safeguards will be put in place to prevent the type of mass exploitation that has been observed under previous visa regimes, no controls to ensure visa holders entering Australia have the required qualifications or licenses to do the job for which they are brought here, or checks to ensure that workers receive the pay and terms they are entitled to right under the law.
This visa will create an almost completely unregulated labor pool in sectors that have a history of underpayment, mistreatment and abuse of migrant workers at a time when local workers in regional areas count. days until they can return to work.
Quotes attributable to CUTA President Michele O’Neil,
“This visa will create a second-class workforce in agriculture, fishing, forestry and meat industries that will have none of the protections or rights that all Australian workers should be able to have.” to count.
“Workers in regional areas know what happens when employers get visas – mass exploitation, lowest wages, unsafe conditions and no jobs for local workers.
“Visa programs should aim to fill the real skills gaps and pave the way for permanent residence for workers. This visa regime does not seek to independently verify gaps in the labor market and has no guarantee of residence for workers.
“This program is simply intended to give large companies a way to reduce wages by exploiting vulnerable migrant workers. Once again, the Morrison government gave in to commercial interests and abandoned the workers.
“This visa represents a huge setback for workers’ rights. Minister Littleproud describes it as “the greatest structural change in the agricultural workforce in the history of our country”. Australian workers should be able to expect historic changes in the workforce to strengthen and advance their rights, not take them away.
“The visa will even undermine the existing limited protections for workers under the Pacific Labor Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Program.
“With a youth unemployment rate at 10.7% and underemployment at 9.3%, it seems there is no requirement that local workers be offered jobs before companies bring in. vulnerable migrant workers. “