Australians turn against Immigration, as employers bring in foreign workers
(1) Employers do not have to advertise for Australian workers
getting foreign workers
(2) Australian gov't allows mining magnate
Gina Rinehart to bring in
1700 overseas guest workers
(3) Whose side are
we on, asks union boss, as ALP approves migrant
workforce for Gina
(4) The tide of public opinion is turning against
(1) Employers do not have to advertise for Australian workers
getting foreign workers
From: Denis McC <email@example.com> Date:
Sat, 26 May 2012
mantra justifies this employer takeover of immigration policy
May 18, 2012
Immigration policy in Australia is shifting
from one designed to benefit
the nation to one designed for employers. This
is occurring by stealth
and with insufficient community debate.
CFMEU advocates skilled migration programs plus family reunion and
humanitarian streams that benefit the Australian community. Our union
has a high proportion of migrants and their sons and daughters.
not support the federal government outsourcing immigration
employers and eroding the rights of Australian workers.
That is what is
Most Australians would be astonished that employers do not
even have to
advertise for Australian workers before getting 457 visa
approved, let alone prove no Australian workers are
This is regardless of whether the job market in an industry or
has collapsed and Australian workers are desperate for work in their
trade or industry.
Some Australian businesses use the system to avoid
paying decent wages
and training Australian apprentices.
Immigration Department is becoming a glorified labour hire company
businesses big and small.
Australia's immigration policy is increasingly
employer-sponsored temporary 457 visas which funnel these workers
employer-sponsored permanent residence (PR) visas.
visa-holders are beholden to their sponsor for up to five years
constant threat of their 457 visa being cancelled, or their
residence jeopardised, if they upset their employer.
At end-March 2012,
the number of 457 visa grants was up nearly 50 per
cent on the same time
last year and up 140 per cent in the skilled
trades. A record 88,600 workers
are now in Australia on 457 visas and
their employers will sponsor over
one-half of these for permanent
Employers hiring 457
workers in skilled trades do not have to train any
themselves or contribute to apprenticeship
training in any way.
resources boom is predicted to last 20 years so it is incredibly
short-sighted to deny young Australians training and jobs in
constructing and operating the mines and associated
The mantra of 'cutting red tape' is being used to justify
takeover of immigration policy.
From 1 July, employers
can sponsor foreign skilled workers for PR visas
at minimum award wages,
rather than genuine market rates under
collective agreements - an open
invitation to low-rent employers to
bring in more cheap labour.
well, employer-sponsored 457 temporary visas are reaching down beyond
tradies into non-trades occupations such as plant operators, riggers,
scaffolders and concreters, clerical and office workers. Big mining and
construction companies demand the government green light to import tens
of thousands of temporary workers in these classifications.
exponentially increases the risk of employer abuse of the scheme.
effective employer monitoring system might lessen community concerns,
none exists. Immigration has actually slashed monitoring so much
site-visited only 4 per cent of all sponsors in 2010-11.
Clear abuses of
the system reported to immigration are not properly
investigated and go
Some employers prefer 457 visa workers because they are
compliant and cheap.
They will not complain about their
wages and conditions if they want
their employer to sponsor them for
Australian Government policy should not allow the
growth of bonded
labour such as we see in countries like
Recently Tony Abbott said the Coalition would make 457 temporary
'the mainstay' of Australia's immigration program, giving businesses
easier access to 457 visas.
He said that this would only happen if
Australian workers were
unavailable and that equal rates would be
But under the Howard government, 457s were paid less and used to
Mr Abbott hasn't told Australians what he
would do to toughen up the
rules if he becomes Prime Minister.
he put the interests of working Australians ahead of those of Clive
and Gina Rinehart? The CFMEU thinks this is highly unlikely.
believes our migration system must protect the primary rights
workers to Australian jobs and encourage employers to
Employers must be required to show there are
no Australian workers
available and offer apprenticeships to young
Australians before any
employer-sponsored visas are granted in trades
The government must resource an effective compliance monitoring
for all employer-sponsored visas, and deliver on its promise to
establish an online "jobs board" so local workers can register for
resources sector jobs and employers source suitably qualified
We do not want an Australia where temporary migrant labour is
drive down wages and conditions, while thousands of young
cannot get training and jobs.
Our national interest lies
in immigration policies that build Australia
for the long-term, not those
that subsidise the already bloated profits
of big resource and construction
Dave Noonan is National Secretary CFMEU Construction and
(2) Australian gov't allows mining magnate Gina Rinehart
to bring in
1700 overseas guest workers
fury over Rinehart migration deal
May 25, 2012
Union bosses are
fuming that the government has approved a scheme to
allow mining magnate
Gina Rinehart to bring in 1700 overseas guest
workers for her Pilbara iron
ore project, without making proper attempts
to find local workers
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen told the National Press Club
the government had approved the first Enterprise Migration
which allows "mega" resource projects to negotiate temporary
needs up-front - and that it would be for Mrs Rinehart's $9.5
Roy Hill project in Western Australia.
"The project will
create significant benefits to the Australia economy
through its capital
investments, export earnings and employment and
training opportunities for
Australians for decades," Mr Bowen said.
Hancock Prospecting's Roy Hill
arm was the first company to apply for an
EMA. It is believed the EMAs will
stipulate a maximum number of
positions that can be filled by migrant
workers, who must have
experience in their area of trade and be
But as Mr Bowen was addressing the Press Club, union
bosses - who were
in Canberra for a regular meeting on manufacturing with
Julia Gillard - held a simultaneous press conference to
anger at the decision.
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said
that home workers had been "overlooked"
and called on Ms Gillard to
intervene in the situation immediately.
"We think its a reprehensible
situation," Mr Oliver said.
Mr Oliver said that job adds had not even
been placed to try to find
Australian Workers Union
national secretary Paul Howes called the move
"sheer lunacy" in a week
during which there had been significant job
losses at Qantas and the Kurri
Kurri aluminium smelter.
"I can't understand why this decision was made
in the current climate,"
Mr Bowen said the government would
establish a Jobs Board so that
positions from the project were filled first
with Australians and the
recruitment of foreigners would occur only after
genuine efforts to
employ locals. He said the project would provide 2000
Treasurer Wayne Swan had been waging
a public campaign against
Australia's mining magnates - including Ms
Rinehart - arguing they use
their wealth to exert too much influence in
During his Press Club address today, Mr Bowen also
announced a new visa
for wealthy business people, which will fast-track
people who invest at least $5 million in
"While we are talking about a comparatively small number of
their investments will offer a disproportionate boost to the
economy," Mr Bowen said.
The Immigration Minister also
said the government wanted to select
business migrants with a good track
record of entrepreneurship.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the
new visa category was a
"double standard" and came at the expense of
reuniting family groups.
"Today's announcement shows Australia's
migration program is being
outsourced to big business at the expense of
Australian families and
workers," Senator Hanson-Young said.
you're going to fast-track people, why fast-track millionaires and
family members of those already here who are so keen to bring
ones to Australia?"
Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison told
reporters in Sydney that
Mr Bowen's business visas stance was hypocritical
in light of the
government's recent rhetoric against big business.
noted Minister Bowen’s speech to the Press Club today and did find it
somewhat ironic and indeed hypocritical that the government today is
lauding the success and wealth of potential migrants they want to bring
to Australia but at the same time with their class war budget rhetoric,
they want to demonize and tax Australians for exactly the same thing,"
- with AAP
(3) Whose side are we on, asks union boss,
as ALP approves migrant
workforce for Gina Rinehart
PACKHAM The Australian May 25, 2012 6:33PM
UNIONS have accused the
Gillard government of siding with the world's
richest woman over struggling
workers after Gina Rinehart was given the
green light to import 1700
foreigners for her Roy Hill iron ore project.
The heads of the nation's
major mining unions lashed Immigration
Minister Chris Bowen's decision to
approve an enterprise migration
agreement for the West Australian project,
saying the company had failed
to advertise a single job.
Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes said the decision
lunacy” and an “early Christmas present” for Ms Rinehart,
government has previously claimed was a threat to democracy.
“I though we
were actually attacking these guys at the moment,” he said.
are we on? This is a big win for Gina Rinehart, it's a big
win for Clive
Palmer, it's a big win for (Andrew) Twiggy Forrest, and
it's a massive kick
in the guts to those 130,000 workers in the
manufacturing industry who have
lost their jobs since 2008.
“For the life of me I can't understand why
this decision was made in the
(Mr Howes later
retracted his criticism of the Fortescue Metals Group,
and instead praised
Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest's commitment to indigenous
jobs in the resources
It is the first time the government has approved an enterprise
agreement, although several other mining companies are seeking to
The move came as the government announced visa
applications would be
fast-tracked for wealthy business people who were
prepared to invest at
least $5 million in Australia.
Dave Oliver said it was “reprehensible” that Australians
were being denied
an opportunity to work on the project at a time when
skilled workers were
being laid off across the manufacturing industry.
“We are calling on the
Prime Minister to immediately intervene to ensure
that before any workers
are being brought in under the 457 visa program,
that there has been
appropriate measures in place to ensure that the
local market has been
tested, that there is a requirement on Gina
Rinehart and these mining
companies to at least advertise to see if
there is interest from local
workers,” Mr Oliver said.
He said he was “perplexed” at the decision,
given the government's
ongoing campaign against rich vested
Enterprise migration agreements allow companies to bring in
workers that would not normally be granted temporary work visas,
can demonstrate “a genuine need that cannot be met from the
Mr Bowen said the signing of the first EMA
was an important development
in helping to meet critical skills shortages in
the resources sector.
“The government's first priority is always ensuring
jobs for Australian
workers, but there is a need for temporary workers to
help keep our
economy strong,” Mr Bowen said.
“With more than 8000
workers required during the construction phase of
the Roy Hill project,
there simply aren't enough people in the local
workforce to get the job
Special Minister of State Gary Gray said unhappy unions would have
put up with the enterprise migration agreements because the decision has
He said the EMAs were a mechanism to get up major projects
significant to the national economy in time to meet market demand,
“If we were to sit back ... the risk is that we will miss that
and we will end up in future generations with lots of rocks that
wants,” Mr Gray told a business panel discussion in
“The unions and other stakeholders have had their say and the
has made its call - end of story.”
Mining magnate Clive
Palmer said it was important to support nationally
significant projects with
expected lives of 30 to 40 years because
benefits would flow through to
improve the nation's standard of living.
“If we don't do something like
this, we won't have any jobs at all,” Mr
“We need to get
on with the job. We've got to get rid of all this bloody
rubbish that stops
As part of the agreement, Roy Hill, in the Pilbara, would
provide up to
2000 training places for Australian workers, including 200
and 100 indigenous Australians.
Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary Paul
Bastian said the company
had failed to seek local workers for the project.
He said the government
had turned the Department of Immigration into a
labour hire agency for
The approval of the agreement came as manufacturing union
with Julia Gillard in Canberra to hammer out a plan to prevent
layoffs in the sector.
More than 340 workers at NSW's Kurri
Kurri aluminium smelter were told
they would lose their jobs this week,
while Qantas laid off 630 workers
Mr Howes said workers
losing their jobs in manufacturing could fill the
job needs of the resources
The government has been waging a campaign against Ms Rinehart and
mining magnates as it moves to “spread the benefits of the boom” by
channelling the proceeds of its mining tax to voter handouts.
controversial piece in The Monthly, published in March, Mr Swan
would place workers ahead of “vested interests” such as Ms
“Politicians have a choice: between exploiting divisions by
fear and appealing to the sense of fairness and decency that is
foundation of our middle-class society; between standing up for workers
and kneeling down at the feet of the Gina Rineharts and the Clive
(4) The tide of public opinion is turning against
by Anne Wright and John Masanauskas
The Daily Telegraph May 22, 2012
MORE than half of Australians want our borders closed and
New research, provided exclusively to The Daily
Telegraph, reveals a
dramatic swing against border issues, with 51 per cent
in favour of
saying no to all migrants - a 10 per cent jump since
Fears over falling job security and the burgeoning population
more strain on infrastructure are two reasons for the shift in
attitudes. The federal opposition said yesterday the anti-immigration
sentiment was due to rising public anger about the number of asylum
seekers attempting to enter the country.
Just a third of the 2000
people questioned by Quantum Market Research
for AustraliaSCAN believed
overseas migration made Australia "a more
interesting and exciting place",
down from almost half in 1995.
AUSTRALIAN authorities intercepted two
more asylum seeker boats
yesterday with 82 people on board.
two thirds said they believed migrants should try to "adopt the
way of life" when they arrived.
The number who believe the country has
room to accommodate more people
also plunged to less than a third, down from
42 per cent a decade ago.
Monash University migration expert Bob Birrell
said the results showed
public opinion about immigration had moved into new
"I think they are right to be worried, we have record levels
immigration and as a consequence we are allowing 100,000 migrants to
enter the workforce at a time when employment growth is at a level lower
than that," Dr Birrell said.
"People are concerned that the present
rate of population growth is not
sustainable and is going to make Australia
a poorer place to live rather
than a better one."
immigration and refugee program for 2012-13 is expected
to reach a record
203,000 people, similar to the mass migration intakes
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison blamed Labor's
protection policies for public hostility to migration.
long as Labor continue to crash confidence as a result of their
our borders, they will continue to crash community
confidence in our
immigration program," he said. "That's why the
Coalition will reinstate
proven border protection policies to stop the
boats, getting our borders
back under control and restoring the
integrity in our immigration
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said migration
brought substantial economic and cultural benefits to Australia, but net
overseas migration numbers had blown out under the Howard government due
to an influx of low-skilled workers who abused the system.
immigration reforms are delivering a sustainable level of
responding to labour market needs," he said.