Responding to reports that the Government intends to allow employers to pay skilled migrants less than local workers, Deputy Greens Leader and Workplace Relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, said that Tony Abbott is undercutting local workers.
“That stench coming from Canberra is Work Choices rising from the dead,” said Mr Bandt.
“First the Government cuts part of Australia out of the mainland migration zone and now they’re excising parts of the country from our labour laws.
“Tony Abbott wants employers in large parts of the country to be able to bring in workers from overseas and potentially pay them less than local workers without having to advertise locally first.
“We have heard many reports of workers on 457 visas being exploited and underpaid, usually by being wrongly classified for the job they’re performing. This allows local wages to be undercut.
“The new migration agreements are a recipe for exploitation of both local workers and overseas workers.
“Tony Abbott has just fired the starting gun on the race to the bottom on wages and conditions in this country and it’s going to be especially tough for jobseekers aged under 30.
“Put yourself in the shoes of a young job seeker: they face six months without any income, the jobs aren’t there with youth unemployment up to 20% and now they have to compete with someone who can be bought in from overseas and potentially paid less than them.
“If the Government says these agreements will have safeguards for local workers, then table the agreements in Parliament and let the public decide,” said Mr Bandt.