A possie in Aussie

March 27, 2009

Cheap migrant workers vs greedy capitalists: no contest

Andrew at the Bewildered Herd has once more provided a sophisticated analysis of the very latest 457 visa figures, from the State/Territory Summary Report Subclass 457 Business (Long Stay) 2008-09, Financial Year to 28 February 2009 from the Immigration Department.

Andrew concludes that

“while unemployment has hit 5.2 per cent, employment growth has slowed, job vacancies have halved and the economy has contracted, companies are employing 457 visa holders at record levels. Do the employers of 457 visa holders realise there is a global recession?

As Andrew points out, if you need to cut costs, why sack a 457 worker, who is more compliant because they rely on you to stay in Australia, and who probably do not know all their rights? Their pay and conditions will be more easily cut if the recession worsens. It makes good economic sense.

Instead of another fruitless cycle of ‘blame the foreign workers’, and ‘blame the greedy capitalist’, we need to change the 457 conditions so that the employer does not have the ability to hold residence in Australia over workers’ heads.

Then migrant workers will be able to claim their rights in the same way as other employees.



  1. Australia is discriminatory in regards to not allowing productive and ambitious people over 45 to come work there unless there is a sponsorship such as a 457 visa. Here in Canada, we welcome immigration of so called older people and are culturally richer for it. I have to go the 457 route and will be coming over to a corporate position.
    Australia does have a problem with the 457 migrant workers but I refuse to be bundled into a group that has a dark and shady history. Australia is my destination of choice not by chance,

    Comment by Dwayne T. — March 28, 2009 @ 12:31 am | Reply

    • Hi Dwayne
      Thanks for the heads up. I apologise for lumping all 457 visa holders together – I work with Chinese meat workers who, although they hold the same vias number, are a different case to those in highly skilled positions.
      I didn’t know about the age discrimination – thanks for alerting us. Australia is in conversation at present about engaging older people in the workforce. I completely agree that older people enrich life in every aspect – and please keep this visa age-discrimination in public awareness.

      Comment by nayano — March 28, 2009 @ 5:40 am | Reply

  2. After reading the article, I just feel that I need more information on the topic. Could you suggest some more resources ?

    Comment by Samuel L. — April 22, 2009 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  3. Hi Samuel
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I would be pleased to direct you to other resources – but I am not sure what sort of resources you need.
    Would you mind clarifying a bit?

    Comment by nayano — April 23, 2009 @ 8:02 am | Reply

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