Can Albo fix the immigration-trashed labour market?

For years now we have watched on as the most aggressive mass immigration program in the world has rewritten the rules of the Australian labour market. Waves of cheap foreign labour in the form of temporary visas, international students and large numbers of permanent migrants have collapsed industrial relations standards nationwide. This relentless supply shock fed directly into an economy with far too much slack to begin with, led directly to a pandemic of wage theft, labour-hire rorting, insecure work and devolving labour bargaining power.

Needless to say, it was the nucleus of Australia’s lost decade of rising wage and income inequality.

Throughout, Labor has done nothing to prevent it. It has usually argued for more foreign workers. It has labelled all objections as racist. And, even when finally forced to take Australia’s number one class war seriously, it has played word games with different visa classes instead of just plugging the hole in the dike.

Needless to say, this has been a disastrous failure of the left.

Today, Anthony Albanese releases some new policy endeavours to address it. The measures include:

  • Labor would insist upon all tenders for government contracts to provide secure work.
  • Contractor’s sick and annual leave will become portable between jobs (presumably via some kind of escrow account).
  • After two years of work, employers will be forced to offer full-time positions.
  • All workers will need to be paid at the same rate regardless of contract middle-men.

This is welcome stuff:

  • The Morrison Government has been a serial abuser of labour-hire chains of diffused responsibility that enabled mass exploitation so that’s good.
  • Bringing IR standards to gig workers is an obvious good.
  • The portability of entitlements notion also has merit and will decrease unethical turnover.
  • Two years is more than fair to be converted to full entitlements work though employers can just sack then instead, especially if cheap foreign labour remains an option.

So, these measures will impact the labour market at the margin by closing what are presently government-mandated legal loopholes to drive wage theft through. Bravo.

That said, this will only have a marginal impact on wages growth. So long as the supply shock of cheap foreign labour persists, via whichever visa that is deployed, wage growth will be suppressed.

To bring that rort to a close Labor needs to slash temporary visa numbers and dramatically lift the wage floor for those that qualify plus halve the permanent migrant intake to the historic average of 80k per annum.

It’s progress and great to see Labor finally address class warfare issues but it is not enough, even if it will aid Labor in a Work Choices 2.0 election campaign.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Arthur Schopenhauer

    It looks like a cleverly crafted strategy to avoid ever talking about immigration driving down wages, while soothing the general public.

    Keep hammering them DLS.

    • pfh007.comMEMBER

      Albo will do nothing to reduce the flow of permanent immigrants and temporary guest workers including those #FakeStudents with 20 hours per week work permits attached to their visas.

      He knows that they are not taking jerbs or driving down wages and conditions.

      He can feel it in his bones…..and also his polling of the many virtue signallers who inhabit his electorate and have jobs dependent on the flow of #FakeStudents and dining preferences delivered by the same #FakeStudents on bikes.

      Lose Grayndler to the Greens?


  2. Labor does not address the elephants in the room:
    1. cheap overseas “student” workers out competing local kids
    2. companies importing “skilled” IT and accountants instead of training locals

    • Why OS IT workers are cheaper - govt bonusMEMBER

      ie cheap overseas IT workers outcompeting local graduates – ie no jobs for the kids, after $ 10 an hour restaurant study jobs.
      The overseas IT staff are naturally happy on a low graduate salary of 60K (which is still 5 times Bangalore IT salaries or 10 times Vietnamese salaries) with the free benefit of the PR for the whole extended family (worth about 50K a year provided by the government, not the company)
      Example – Atlassian, incredibly innovative company (not talking technology, only at the old HR techniques of low labour costs – e.g. at employing 50% Vietnamese workers on minimum graduate salary)

    • And as far as I know there are a helluva lot of additional people in Australia from overseas since 2000 or 2010. When is enough enough? Is it the constant need to bring more in each year to infinity? That is not spelled out.
      As far as I am concerned they have had their lot.

  3. It’s only a few months ago, that Keneally went off for re-education, after her crime of putting “wages” and “immigration” in the same sentence. With Albanese, Morrison can jack up net migration, as high as he likes.

  4. “After two years of work, employers will be forced to offer full-time positions”…………..Employers would just rort it. They’d sack an employee right before the 2 years.

    “To bring that rort to a close Labor needs to slash temporary visa numbers and dramatically lift the wage floor for those that qualify plus halve the permanent migrant intake to the historic average of 80k per annum”…..

    It’s too easy to exclude potential Australians and instead go for the more compliant foreigner. It’s too easy to make them work for 70 hours for 40 hours pay.

    It’s just way too little from Labor, they need to start the narrative about immigration. When Australia erroneously thought Keneally was making noise against immigration, the plebs llloooovvvveeeeddd it. Next thing she’s run away from it. What happened there?

    The unions are the big Labor donors, and they’re pushing immigration, entirely against the wishes of fee paying members.

    How do you stop that? It’d be a good start considering that IMO.

    Fee paying members against rogue union officials like Sally…… A union opposed to the direction of the union?

    Sally’s book launch.

    Labor look more like elite bankers, than MP’s for the people….

    • Well Ermo’s exhortations to join Labor are kind of redundant (sorry Ermo).

      Never mind blowing up Crown, labor need blowing up

      @Gunna, what’s up with the This is fuggen bulltish party

      • If Ermo wants to go and see Albanese with me, that’d be great. Give Albanese a list of what we want, and promise him 100% support and recruitment of the few like minded people on MB to help in the election campaign.

        Here’s the list:

        1. Drastically cut Immigration

      • Forget the BS party. It has 90% of the policies that makes Labor unelectable.

        The plebs do not want lifestyle dole availability, more social housing, or more humanitarian immigration. Those that do, already vote Labor.

        Poll the plebs in the burbs. They want wwwwaaaayyyyy lower immigration, wwwaaaaayyy less woke, more work, addressing crime and drugs (ice), cheaper housing (not social housing), and less welfare dependence.

  5. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    He cannot touch the subject cos of his snowflake seat which his fat a ss will protect above anything else

    the country is doomed

  6. Where did I read recently someone opining that if Labor went to election with Tanya, they’d annihilate The Scrote.

    Was it DomainFax?

    • Well, considering every difficult statement or retort by her opponent will immediately be tarred with an ‘ism’ or dismissed as a mansplain, don’t underestimate that possibility!

      Tolerating a Scomo preser is hard enough! Hell, although scomo is the happy clapper TP will still out holier than thou him!

      I would be particularly excited about the prospect of 4 years of press fawning over her, every on camera hug worth 10x an actual policy achievement, every criticism and unwarranted attack on diversity and equality, #imwithher trending all over again.

        • The wife is, I’m not. Nothing personal to her, but every time she speaks, or debates it’s your typical “I’m not here to answer questions, I’m here to deliver a pre scripted statement and I will deflect or ignore any attempt to get me to do otherwise”. Just like the little stunt in the halls with Craig Kelly last week, bring 30 cameras along for an ‘impromptu’ self presser.

          All of which is completely non surprising for a 100% career politician (Labor party member from age 15 apparently, studied politics and then straight to public service). It doesn’t matter what side of the isle you’re from, spending your entire adult life at arms length from those you proport to represent cannot be a good thing. Take it to the next level and once you wallow in the swamp that is pure politics for that long (elected at 28 now 52) you loose touch with reality. It appears that to survive let alone thrive in that environment without adapting in such a way that renders you no longer capable of normal human discourse or behavior is near impossible. Observation of any such individual in public as well as the commentary from broken ex parliamentarians seems to confirms as much.

          No surprise that large chunks of an electorate fail to connect or relate to politicians like her (and why they flock to, connect and relate to the likes of a Trump, even in the face of all their faults and failings).

          A vote for the likes of TP achieves nothing more than a vote for any other party robot serving a life term.

          • All good points. I did like her Kelly stunt though. He is toxic and if they can’t get their sh%t together in Hughes to do so, and this had to happen to get The Scrote to ratchet it up, then I’m ok with that.

            Who knows, the LNP may see a reverse takeover by moderate/centrists like Kevin Andrews’ deposer and perhaps as we are about to see in Hughes. Be good to see a few more off’d too, including in the Senate.

          • I actually think he wants Labor to thrive. He, and many others including myself, think they’ve lost their way. Their leadership mostly centered around the Sydney city electorate belt shows it. They actually are Liberals with a bit of identity politics mixed in mostly these days to most people. The grounded people in the party in safe seats ironically get shafted; and they are infinitely more electable – for example just looking at Labor’s minister page there is definitely more charismatic or more caring, relatable down to earth people on that list; seeing what they complain about on a local level ironically is usually opposed by their party heads from I’ve seen over the years.

            Pick a member from the outer suburban belt or a country electorate, make them leader, and let them set priorities. You would find immigration would be high on the list, investment in health, wages and conditions. It wouldn’t be identity politics and/or symbolic issues, negative gearing, global issues, palming off city problems to the burbs (development, migration, toll roads, zoning, etc.), etc. Its a sad state of affairs when in a pandemic the infrastructure spend is mostly on pro business initiatives such as road bypasses, more toll roads, and diverting what really is a inner city issue to the outer suburban belt (airport). Health, amentity, community infrastructure, etc at least from what I’ve seen haven’t been mentioned at all.

  7. master of toilet paper

    albo is the living human incarnation of boogerman for the sega genesis

    the answer is no he cant

    also the labor market is further trashed by australian employers who are uniquely lazy dumb f-wits who dont want to hire a n y o n e without 95959559595959 years of relevant experience

    albo isnt gonna fix that or the jobactive system which does absolutely 0 for the unemployed bc its as loved by labor as it is by the liberals

    bringing ir standards to the gig economy will instantly end the gig economy bc its based on exploiting suckers

    its over fam

  8. Bringing IR standards to gig workers is an obvious good

    As far as I can tell these reforms won’t touch the Gig Economy. They target people pulling a wage on temporary contracts. People working on their own account will still be able to sell their services for less than the min wage. So this will be good for Airtasker and Upwork.

  9. Labor won’t touch overall immigration numbers, why would they?

    The old adage still applies. To the Right, immigrants are cheap labour, to the Left, they are cheap votes.

    Keneally’s pivot on immigration and preferring permanent migrants over temporary is driven by a desire to get back the electoral advantage from the Libs.

    The Liberals deliberately shifted the dial to temporary migration for two reasons:

    1. Temporary migrants are easier to exploit
    2. Temporary migrants can’t vote

    Labor knows it must bring in more permanent migrants who can become voting citizens so it can regain its electoral advantage through its talent for ethnic branchstacking and racially targeted campaign tactics (though the libs are getting better at both, admittedly)

    It’s merely a war over the type of migrant. Both sides silently agree that continuing mass immigration is probably the only way to prevent the debt ponzi from collapsing

    • If the ALP believe immigrants will vote for them then they’re all even dumber than Albanese looks. Most immigrants are very conservative. India, China, the Muddle East and Africa aren’t exactly hotbeds of wokeness, and all the woke trans, gay loony feminist bullshido signalled by the ALP (and Greens) is anathema to the people who come here from there. Just look at how the voting for gay marriage went in the festering migrant hellholes of western Sydney, and translate that into votes for the ALP.

      • Ed zackly. the LNP knows it, that’s why they bring them in. The LNP works the immigrant voting bloc with a lot of dedication, just very quietly, out of the Anglos line of vision.

        • At the last ACT elections a substantial number of the LNP candidates were either Indian or Asian…far more than their representation in the general community. I would’ve called it ethnic branch stacking, except that noticing and labelling such things is incredibly racist.

    • Catch 22 for Labor. They can’t win because of their immigration policy, and are moving further and further away from government because of it.

      Only one way back, and that’s slashing it.

      Not going to happen because the Greens have dragged the likes of Plibersek and Albanese seats further to the left.

      Australia is going to sht because of it. The likes of smithy have wrecked the Labor party and have therefore destroyed our country’s future.

    • The modern immigrants are loyal to their own family and their own bank account and have zero concern for society or whether other people have to eat grass. They will vote anyone that will give them a $2 a week tax cut. Hence Labor are sh****g in their own boots if they carry on. Just look how many of these modern immigrants seriously exploit their own country men/women when it comes to business and money regardless of the law.

  10. “To bring that rort to a close Labor needs to slash temporary visa numbers and dramatically lift the wage floor for those that qualify plus halve the permanent migrant intake to the historic average of 80k per annum.”

    hahahah good one 😉

    So with chunky, low hanging policy fruit there to pick, why does ALP choose to utilize what little airtime they get in the COVID vacuum to promote token changes like leave portability?

    Because just like the LNP, they have zero intention of tackling those issues and will do what every gaggle of career politicians do… expend infinite energy on appearing to do so.

  11. “Let’s be clear — the Labor Party will never support any legislation that undermines the pay, conditions and security of Australian workers,” Mr Albanese’s speech reads.

    “Full stop. End of story.”

  12. The immigration program needs to be slashed to maximum of 50,000 net overseas immigration a year.
    That would be a wonderful start, however the real problem that will not be discussed is the racial make up the immigration intake.
    Even at 50,000 NOM a year without addressing the present mix, we are still being altered to a sh#thole country … just a bit slower.

  13. The Labor Party has all but committed treason against the working class of this country.
    Get Woke – Go Broke – No Vote

  14. It seems that most MB commenters agree that Immigration is to high.
    It is a given that neither the LNP, Labor or the Greens will reduce immigration.
    So what to do ?
    Prometheus 69 has the answer… a Voters Strike.
    An organised campaign urging voters throughout Australia who want immgration reduced to cast an informal vote writting the reason for their action on the ballot paper would 1. have a resounding effect on the thinking of the major parties.
    2. encourage the formation of other parties to take their place.
    MB have a trove of data and info on the destructive effects of mass immigration on the Australian society.
    This is emminently doable.

    • “Voters Strike”

      Are you fking serious?

      Grow up mate.

      “To ensure your vote counts, follow the instructions on the top of your ballot paper and complete it accordingly. This is called placing a formal vote. Only formal votes can be counted and contribute to the election result.”

        • Wait what? This is 3d1k. Say it ain’t so* Slick Rick

          (or I’ll have to go, turn the lights off, and carry me home)

          • Smithy

            All 3d1k wanted was more money.

            I’m trying to save my country from idiots like you. I’m far more angry, got far more skin in the game.

        • You seem about as knowledgeable, logical and sensible as a 4 year old.

          “Might hurt your precious LNP mates”

          lol. It would benefit LNP because it’d because it’d be recalcitrant Labor voters voting informal.

          Fk man, seriously, you sure you’re east of Lismore, and not west?

          • Totes old Woke, I thought you would be right on it.
            You are the one crying out for the destruction of the Labor party.
            Let loose your inner anarchist.

          • Ten years I’ve talked about this here, and still you think I want an LNP government?

            Ten years you’ve been saying to destroy Labor, so the Liberals can go hog-wild and everyone will realise they need to vote for someone else.

          • Labor are a hindrance. They need to be replaced by Independents and minor parties who will oppose LNP on what matters.

            Labor are not stopping any of the carnage unfolding in Australia, and when they got into power they made such a mess of everything, tangled themselves into knots, were distracted with themselves, opened housing to foreigners, raised immigration,….. so Australia threw them out….for the final time I’d suggest.

            What’s the point of them?

    • Better to vote, but put the major parties last, with the sitting member last of all, regardless of whoever is running against them.

      • Exactly. Hurt the incumbent in every seat, and they rapidly start listening.

        Better still, let them know that’s what’s coming for them if they don’t change tack now.

      • I’m with Tania on this. My general voting pattern for the last few elections has been major parties last, with the incumbent dead last.

      • You still end up with electing a member of a major party whose party policy is mass migration.
        You are not conveying that you are against mass immigration to the person who ends up getting elected.
        Politicians will bend to wind of public opinion when it blows hard enough.
        This can be achieved by a mass movement. If 20, 30 % of votes were informal with a message about mass immigration they would get the message.
        Sure there will be someone elected, and most probably from a major party , but we get that now no matter what order we rank the candidates.

  15. Ailart SuaMEMBER

    A long time ago there was distinct policy difference between the 2 governments that the system allows us to have. I used to call it a ‘double-dictatorship’. These days, weeding out the difference is akin to finding a needle in a hay-stack. So what do we have now? Just a straight out dictatorship – cash cowed by a small group of elite donors headed up by foreign owned mining companies. Or is fascism a more appropriate description?

    A petition signed by several million Australian citizens demanding an end to any form of political donation would throw a giant spanner into their sleazy rort, I’d imagine.

    • How much of that policy difference was in areas that have since been privatized? There really isn’t all that much left for a government to do these days.

      • Ailart SuaMEMBER

        Absolutely not much left for them to be responsible for – thanks primarily to Thatcher and Reagan and their modern neoliberalism. The two governments we’re allowed to have are basically nothing more than a ‘conduit’ to a small group of elites. I often wonder what the level of deterioration in living standards will have to fall to before the people wake up to the big con. I would imagine there’d need to be a sudden drop in a short space of time for that to happen, however. The reason for this, is that a gradual fall in living standards is not really noticed by the younger generations. I’m over 70 and haven’t been blinded by the normal distractions in life – and have seen clearly see clearly how the quality of life for Australians has sharply deteriorated between the 1950’s up until today.

        The young must seriously shift their focus to the system that installs governments and makes them accountable – the Constitution and the electoral system. Focusing on poor leadership and the people providing it are just symptoms. But mainstream media love the headlines divisiveness and political conflict generate.

        • I can remember uncrowded towns, easy travelling, people living in houses instead of shabby apartment blocks and being able to go fishing at the beach without a licence, among many, many other things.

          I can begin to describe how much it grips my sh1t to have to pay the fcking gummint money to be able to go to the beach to wet a line in search of a bream or two.

          And the newer suburbs of Canberra like Coombs (god rest Nugget…he’d hate the fcking dump named after him) all look like 1950’s era Soviety prison gulags. Horrible places.

          • Ailart SuaMEMBER

            Yep, I remember all of that too. Without a shadow of doubt, the quality of life for the majority of Australian citizens was much better than it is today. The big problem, LSWCHP, is that the younger generations of today, including all the migrants who came from sh!t living standards, weren’t around when we were. So they’re not motivated enough to do something about the corrupt system that spews out the governments today. The system (Constitution and the electoral system) are the cause and the corrupt governments and deteriorating living standards (for the majority) are the symptoms. And you won’t fix an issue by focusing on the symptoms.

          • Yep. Australia was infinitely better 30 years ago. Back when LNP went too far, we could vote Labor in to bring it back to balance, and vice versa. Now they’re both big Australia disasters, with Labor being unelectable for a number of reasons.

            I fear young Australians are being boiled in a pot, and there’s no stopping them voting to destroy themselves.

            Aliens would not believe Australia is a democracy with multiple candidates in hundreds of seats begging for your vote, willing to do whatever it takes.

            Same as the union movement. I’ve watched it go from being all about workers, to now, just being funded by workers to push woke policy with little relevance to workers.

            Workers are copping it in Australia thanks to unions and Labor. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be far worse if unions weren’t there, but seriously, they need to get back to working for fee paying members.

          • Good wages, conditions and security, 3 times wages housing, free university, free medical, open spaces, far less crowding, traffic and pollution, free parking, far less gouging by councils, state and federal governments, insurance companies.

            And a much much more chilled but still crazy fun vibe. People were way less obsessed with themselves and money. More community, society. Far more loyalty at work, far less cut throat, better transparency for career progression.

            Labor have betrayed the plebs in the most horrific way.

          • Totes gets it. Many young people I talk to say exactly what he says as what they want, and they envy the lifestyle of the 80’s and below. From their music tastes, nostalgia, timeless movie tastes, etc everything is at best very early 90’s on a long term basis.

            I would argue for the average person it has been getting worse ever since. From more congestion, more development (apartments, warehouses, toll roads, airports, smog and noise), less environment to enjoy, less job security, more education for less pay, etc globalisation and neo-liberalism has been a net negative even for the young generation. However they will be the first to give their money to an American brand first and foremost, buy that latest gadget and go on that overseas holiday – all net negatives to Australia and the above.

  16. Chris Bowen apparently has a new book coming out in which he claims that Labor needs to do better in selling the ‘benefits’ of mass immigration to the electorate. LOL.

    For Bowen, reducing immigration to saner levels is literally unthinkable. It’s like he has a learning disability.