The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has congratulated the Senate on voting for a new inquiry into the 457-visa scheme, and called on the Government to do more to immediately crack down on the rorts.
Just last week, the union’s Victorian branch uncovered 12 457-visa workers sleeping and living in their employer’s office, having not been paid for 6 weeks.
The union is still currently pursuing back-wages for workers, but the company - Schneider Elevators Australasia – is refusing to meet with the union.
The union is continuing to support the workers, who have nowhere else to go except onto the streets.
The workers revealed to the union that Schneider Elevators had been secretly and illegally deducting visa charges and a range of other building industry fees from their wages.
“Cases like this show the widespread rorts that are going on in the 457-visa system,” said AMWU Victoria Assistant Secretary Craig Kelly.
“These workers were living and working in essentially slave labour conditions – here, in Australia, in the twenty-first century.
“For the Federal Government to wash their hands and allow this to happen without oversight or regulation beggars belief.
“Indeed we saw Minister Cash in the Saturday Age say that the Department is ‘investigating’. If they are – where is the action? Where is the penalty? What is being done?
“These workers are in limbo and the Government appears to be doing nothing,” said Mr Kelly.