Bicycle-based food delivery company Foodora faces thousands of dollars in fines after it allegedly put riders and a driver on sham contracts.
The ombudsman has filed an action in the Federal Court alleging the three workers in 2015 and 2016 were presented as independent contractors when they actually did the work of permanent employees.
The two Melbourne riders were aged 19 at the time, while the Sydney driver, an Indian migrant who is now an Australian permanent resident, was aged 30.
Blow me down with a feather. The evidence of migrant wage abuse running rampant nationally is overwhelming. Since the 7-Eleven migrant worker scandal broke in 2015, there has been a regular flow of stories emerging about the systemic abuse of Australia’s various migrant worker programs and visa system. Here is a sordid summary of what has occurred, as documented on this site:
- The issue culminated in 2016 when the Senate Education and Employment References Committee released a scathing report entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, which documented systemic abuses of Australia’s temporary visa system for foreign workers.
- Mid last year, ABC’s 7.30 Report ran a disturbing expose on the modern day slavery occurring across Australia.
- Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, told Fairfax in August last year that people on visas continue to be exploited at an alarming rate, particularly those with limited English-language skills. It was also revealed that foreign workers are involved in more than three-quarters of legal cases initiated by the FWO against unscrupulous employers.
- Then The ABC reported that Australia’s horticulture industry is at the centre of yet another migrant slave scandal, according to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue.
- The same Parliamentary Inquiry was told by an undercover Malaysian journalist that foreign workers in Victoria were “brainwashed” and trapped in debt to keep them on farms.
- A recent UNSW Sydney and UTS survey painted the most damning picture of all, reporting that wages theft is endemic among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants.
- A few months ago, Fair Work warned that most of Western Sydney had become a virtual special economic zone in which two-thirds of businesses were underpaying workers, with the worst offenders being high-migrant areas.
- Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute latest report, based on 2016 Census data, revealed that most recently arrived skilled migrants (i.e. arrived between 2011 and 2016) cannot find professional jobs, with only 24% of skilled migrants from Non-English-Speaking-Countries (who comprise 84% of the total skilled migrant intake) employed as professionals as of 2016, compared with 50% of skilled migrants from Main English-Speaking-Countries and 58% of the same aged Australian-born graduates. These results accord with a recent survey from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, which found that 53% of skilled migrants in Western Australia said they are working in lower skilled jobs than before they arrived, with underemployment also rife.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest Characteristics of Recent Migrants report, revealed that migrants have generally worse labour market outcomes than the Australian born population, with recent migrants and temporary residents having an unemployment rate of 7.4% versus 5.4% for the Australian born population, and lower labour force participation (69.8%) than the Australian born population (70.2%).
- ABC Radio recently highlighted the absurdity of Australia’s ‘skilled’ migration program in which skilled migrants have grown increasingly frustrated at not being able to gain work in Australia despite leaving their homelands to fill so-called ‘skills shortages’. As a result, they are now demanding that taxpayers provide government-sponsored internships to help skilled migrants gain local experience, and a chance to work in their chosen field.
- Then there is new research from the University of Sydney documenting the complete corruption of the temporary visas system, and arguing that Australia running a “de-facto low-skilled immigration policy” (also discussed here at the ABC).
The above bullet points are only a fraction of the various cases of migrant abuse that MB has documented. But you get the picture.
The migrant labour scam is huge. So big, in fact, that it has lowered Australian wages and inflation plus interest rates, driving up house prices and allowing us to over-consume these very same services. It’s become a structural adjustment. There’s no regulating it. It can only be cured with less migrants.
The ACTU needs some good old fashioned labour nationalism, not the wowserish apostasy of Sally McManus. She’s too busy campaigning for Labor to care:
The union movement will intensify its campaign on penalty rates in the next three weeks to highlight an imminent cut to conditions, as it uses the issue to mobilise voters against the Coalition ahead of five federal byelections next month.
ACTU national secretary Sally McManus will take the campaign to the key Tasmanian electorate of Braddon in a bid to put pressure on the government while holding Labor to its pledge to reverse the controversial cuts to penalty rates which are due to take effect from July 1.
The campaign is backed by polling for the peak union body showing that two thirds of voters support arguments for new laws to overturn cuts to penalty rates by the industrial umpire.
Career politician in the making.