A possie in Aussie

March 7, 2009

Populate and perish the migrant workers

Filed under: 457 visas — Nayano @ 7:17 am
Tags: , , ,

The ‘They took our jobs!’ campaign made an appearance in Western Australia yesterday, with a protect by workers outside a plant at Mandurah that had sacked eight Australians and six migrant workers on 457 working visas, but the firm has kept eight 457-visa workers. Locals angry as migrants keep jobs

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union supported the protest and said that all of the 457s should have been laid off before any local workers, arguing that the 457 visas were only intended to bring in workers when locals were unavailable.

While employers are required to show that local labour is not available before importing workers, to the best of my knowledge the drafters of the 457 made no provisions for what should happen in a case like this.

Employers naturally want to keep their most suitable workers, especially in a recession, and a demand that 457s be sacked before anyone else would be and unreasonable impost on them.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union spokesman called for the introduction of a database of trade vacancies so that sacked migrants already in Australia could be more easily sponsored by other employers, rather than having to leave the country.

This at least would offer a chance for 457 workers to remain in the country, but discounts their human needs for security and roots in a community.

Professors seem keen to get into the immigrant worker debate. Two weeks ago I reported on Professor Birrell‘s fuel for the bonfire of migrant workers when he was reported as saying 457 visas ‘may cost local-born their jobs’.

Andrew Bartlett blogs about Melbourne University professor, Roger Short, who is claiming that population must be reduced if global warming is to be overcome. Thinking globally versus being unthinking locally

Andrew comments that ‘It is good to see some more focus being given to the global dilemma’ but notes that many of Short’s comments are easily subverted, and that the anti-migration lobby use this sort of information to support the argument that

‘keeping people out of Australia should be a central part of dealing with greenhouse emissions and resource depletion, while ignoring the obvious fact that migration has absolutely zero direct impact on global population’.

Meanwhile, demographer Peter McDonald is warning the government ‘against short-sighted immigration decisions’, saying that

‘Overseas migrants will be the key drivers of economic growth over the next 40 years as millions of baby boomers move into retirement.’ Migrants ‘vital to recovery’



  1. […] This story from the West Australian has AMWU officials making similar calls. (h/t A Possie in Aussie) […]

    Pingback by Push to sack migrant workers - Andrew Bartlett — March 16, 2009 @ 11:36 pm | Reply

  2. […] of another fruitless cycle of ‘blame the foreign workers’, and ‘blame the greedy capitalist’, we need to change the 457 conditions so that the […]

    Pingback by Cheap migrant workers vs greedy capitalists: no win « A possie in Aussie — March 27, 2009 @ 7:05 am | Reply

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