A possie in Aussie

January 23, 2009

Immigrant workers: the new slaves?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nayano @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , ,

The Sydney Morning Herald January 23, 2009 reports unions as warning that a black market of workers will grow as mining and construction companies lay off migrants on 457 visas because of the financial crisis. 457 visa holders arrive in Australia sponsored by the employer, and if they leave that employer or are sacked they have 28 days in which to find another sponsoring employer or leave the country. And most have a goal of becoming permanent, and to achieve that they must hold on to their jobs at all costs.

While changes in legislation as a result of the various reviews of the 457 scheme (the latest being the Subclass 457 Integrity Review) have put an end to some of the more flagrant exploitation of these workers, many, including the blogger at ‘The bewildered herd’ believe that “While the Australian Government continues to administer and promote a migration program that gives employers so much power over workers, employers will continue to access it to cut costs and increase profits. These workers should not have to rely on employers to maintain their visas, and should be allowed to come to Australia to work if they wish, for as long as they wish, with all of the protections that Australian workers enjoy.”
Immigrant unskilled and semi-skilled workers are the newest underclass, and will suffer the most from the current recession. In Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, more than half of the Japanese-Brazilian immigrant workers have been laid off from Toyota motors – the first employees to feel the bite – and growing numbers are becoming homeless as a consequence (Turbulent times for Toyota workers as Japan’s recession deepens).

Will Obama realise that immigrant workers are the new underclass, the new slaves?



  1. I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work 🙂

    Comment by Bruce McIntire — January 23, 2009 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the encouragement

      Comment by nayano — January 30, 2009 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  2. […] What’s a ‘possie’? Immigrant workers: the new slaves? […]

    Pingback by Immigrant underclass: the new class struggle? « A possie in Aussie — January 24, 2009 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  3. […] I have been concerned about the 457 visa because, whatever controls the government may put in place, the worker is still beholden to the employer, and therefore reluctant to speak out Chinese slave labour in Australia […]

    Pingback by Australia on trial in first Southeast Asian Court of Women « A possie in Aussie — August 11, 2009 @ 11:09 am | Reply

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