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Issue No. 322 01 September 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Justice, Applied Liberally
To think, Phillip Ruddock used to be a liberal.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
The ACCC is the latest state agency to turn its guns on the construction union. National official, Dave Noonan, discusses the implications.

Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
With new laws looming for “independent contractors”, Foxtel subbies have had the carpet pulled from under their feet, writes Nathan Brown.

Unions: Industrial Wasteland
A group of inner-Sydney veterans appear to be working to strip their families of retirement incomes. Jim Marr records their desperation.

International: Two Bob's Worth
German and British workers are participating in business decisions while WorkChoices locks Australians out of the conversation, writes Anthony Forsyth.

Economics: National Interest
John Howard claimed that interest rates would always be lower under a Coalition government than under Labor, Neale Towart crunchess the numbers.

Environment: The Real Dinosaur
Economic ignorance remains at the top and the critics are oblivious says Sol Power

History: Only In Spain?
The experiences of self management during the Civil War have been the one positive factor to come from that tragic event, and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation thrives today.

Review: Clerk Off
Nathan Brown draws solace from some fellow social misfits.

N E W S

 Boss Gives Dad the Finger

 Amber's Law Pulps WorkChoices

 Westfield Flogs Good Deal

 Building Workers Spooked

 Bankers to Train Assassins

 Astroboy Blasts Off

 First Global Deal Docks in Germany

 Bans Stop the Press

 Deportation for Pay-To-Work Tradesman

 Telstra in Bush Bloodbath

 Boss Punts Assaulted Teen

 Ballots Stuffed By WorkChoices

 Howard in a Spin

 Extras – The Waterfront.

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

Legends
Westie Wing
MLC Ian West ventures beyond Macquarie St and into the desert of the eco rats.

The Soapbox
Testing Times
Former RLPA secretary and Newcastle Knights prop, Tony Butterfield, fires up over dawn raids.

Obituary
Dare to Win
The union movement has lost an inspirational leader of working men and women, writes Jeana Vithoulkas

Fiction
Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter Two - Tommy’s Tale.

L E T T E R S
 Please Don’t Go
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Deportation for Pay-To-Work Tradesman


A Melbourne print shop took $10,000 out of the pocket of a Chinese tradesman then tried to have him deported.

The terrified immigrant approached the AMWU which is demanding answers from Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone.

The sacked worker went into hiding after meeting AMWU officials in the city, last week.

AMWU official, Jim Reid, said he understood the man had been imported to Australia on a Section 457 visa that Vanstone admits were introduced to hold down Australian wages.

"It's difficult because this man doesn't speak English," Reid said. "I met him with a Chinese woman from our office who translated for him.

"Someone told him to ring our number but he had no idea who he was speaking to. He didn't know if we were a government agency or not.

"It was a big step but he was worried and frightened."

The man said he had paid an immigration agent, in China, $10,000 to obtain a visa but when he arrived in Melbourne his employer told him he owed the company another $10,000.

He was required to work 60 hours a week in a print shop and received $752 a week, gross.

The employer deducted $200 a week to cover his expenses and another $120 a week for rent.

After tax, the man was left with less than $300 a week.

After one year's service, when the employer had extracted his $10,000, the worker was sacked and told he would be deported.

"By our reckoning, in the last year, he has paid out $26,000 to get the job and received less than $15,000 for working 60 hours a week," Reid said.

"It's a disgrace."

Reid said the union had tried to contact DIMIA but had given up after failing to be connected to a human being in its Melbourne office.

He said the federal government needed to come clean on widespread abuse of its Section 457 visas.

"On one hand, we have a man who has been exploited. On the other, we have a system that rewards ruthless employers at the expense of honest ones who play by Australian rules.

"Nobody opposes these migrants, Australia was built on the back of migrants," Reid said. "Our problem is the way they are exploited and the undermining of everybody else's wages and conditions.

"Even when these employers are sprung the government takes no action. There are no penalties for this sort of behaviour and every incentive.

"It's a human rights issue and we are asking the government to address it."


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