||Issue No. 259||15 April 2005|
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Vanstone Shows Brickie’s Cleavage
And foreign childcare workers, included in the Migration Occupations in Demand for the first time, will be shipped into Australia without having any formal assessment of their qualifications.
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton says the extension of the skilled migration program comes at precisely the time in the building cycle and will leave Aussie tradesmen on the scrap heap.
Under the changes announced by immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone this week, the Migration Occupations in Demand list will now include: bricklayers, carpenters, joiners, fibrous and solid plasterers, as well as cabinet makers, plumbers and electricians
Sutton says the net result of the intake would be a new pool of cheap labour in the industry, just at the time when activity is slowing.
"You do not need to be an Einstein to work out that if there is a downturn in the industry, it will be the cheap imports that will keep their jobs," Sutton says.
"In our experience, employer sponsorship of migrant workers has resulted in scandalous exploitation of those workers as cheap labour.
"Migrant workers who are unaware of Australia's health and safety regulations have been exposed to serious injury and in one case death."
Sutton says the Federal Government would be better off employing 20,000 young Australians as trades apprentices, rather relying on migrant intakes and sending 10 department officers to boost employer expertise in engaging migrants.
"The Minister's proposal for recruiting overseas students into full fee paying trade apprenticeships in regional centres is a kick in the pants for young Australians.
Low Pay Drives Child Care Shortage
Meanwhile, the LHMU has warned including child care workers will be shipped into the country without proper assessment processes.
NSW LHMU Child Care Union President Jim Lloyd says the Immigration Department's own paper work issued implicitly points to a problem.
" All other occupation categories have an 'Assessing Authority' listed in the paper work but there is no " Assessing Authority' listed for Child Care Co-ordinators.
" The Department wants to bring these people in from overseas but doesn't seem to know how to assess their qualifications"
Lloyd days good skilled people have left an industry they love because of the poor pay and poor career structure.
" The Howard Government's solution is not to attract them back to this vital industry by supporting improved career structures and wages - but to find cheap alternatives overseas."
A Child Care Co-ordinator in NSW can get paid as little as $28,000 a year. The current NSW LHMU Child Care Union pay equity campaign is arguing for a minimum of $50,000 a year.
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