NUW members are calling for an Amnesty and a secure visa with rights and protections for workers lured by agents and dodgy contractor to work in Australia’s horticulture sector. Members have been meeting with politicians to tell them what is really going on at farms that supply the major supermarkets. Thanks to:
- Peter Khalil, Federal Member for Wills
- Maria Vamkinou, Federal Member for Calwell. Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.
- Joel Fitzgibbon, Federal Member for Hunter, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Australia
- Clare O’Neil, Federal Member of Parliament for Hotham. Shadow Minister for Justice and Financial Services
- Shayne Neumann, Federal member of Parliament for Blair. Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
- Lisa Chesters, Federal member of Parliament for Bendigo. Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations and Rural and Regional Australia
- Mark Dreyfus, Federal Member of Parliament for Isaacs. Shadow Attorney General, Shadow Minister for National Security
- Julian Hill, Federal Member of Parliament for Bruce
- Jaala Pulford State Member for Western Victoria. Minister for Roads, Roads Safety and the TAC, Minister for Fishing and Boating, formerly minister for Agriculture
- Samantha Ratnam, State Member for Northern Metropolitan. Leader of the Victorian Greens
- Lidia Thorpe, former State member for Northcote
for meeting with workers and hearing their stories.
Many workers from Malaysia and Indonesia are promised good work to help support their families if they come to Australia. But the reality is very different. Workers are paid well below the minimum wage and forced to live in overcrowded accommodation with rent and transport payments going back to their contractor. Passports are stolen, workers are injured and many cannot access care or support if they need it. Something needs to change.
Australian farmers that supply fresh fruit and veg to Coles and Woolworths also want solutions to the issues linked to bad labour-hire practices facing the sector.
An Amnesty will mean workers can safely come forward and expose exploitation and wage theft. Then we can work together to clean up the fresh food industry and hold dodgy contractors and bad employers to account.