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4 Aug 2023

Electrical Trades Union (Australia)

Baking in inequality - a stunning betrayal

See all tags Allegations

The federal Government has been accused of a stunning betrayal after it signed off on a Labour Migration Agreement that will see 400 temporary visa workers brought into the country to work on renewable energy transmission infrastructure at cut price wages, jeopardising the existing workforce...

The Labour Migration Agreement was sought by Green Light Contractors, the principal contractor on the project, despite it already have a contractor workforce performing the work. The Labour Migration Agreement approved by Minister Giles effectively bakes that exploitation in, codifying the company’s ability to pay workers $10 less per hour than the current workforce.

“This is a disgraceful move from Minister Giles who should hang his head in shame” said Allen Hicks, ETU NSW Secretary. “His rhetoric on migrant workers does not match his actions. He has today rubber stamped workplace inequality based on visa status.”

Green Light Contractors has previously refused and obstructed ETU organisers attempts to enter the worksite to meet with workers. On May 9 and 10 employees were blocked from talking to an ETU organiser during their lunch break about their workplace rights, with the Union obtaining a federal court injunction to get its organisers onto site. More recently the Union has discovered serious allegations of underpayments and work health and safety breaches...