ACTU: Don’t return to mass immigration

After spending years urging Australia’s union movement to fight back against mass immigration, the head of the ACTU, Sally McManus, finally spoke the truth via Twitter:

Too right. If we want to keep Australia’s unemployment rate low and achieve decent wage growth, we must not flood the nation with 180,000-plus migrant workers every year, as was the case pre-COVID. It’s hardly rocket science.

Unconventional Economist
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    • Reading that last sentence I would say no. She still can’t come out and say that immigration is being used to exploit existing Australians. Her focus is on the plight of non-Australians.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Whenever I read one of Smithy’s posts I always hear Sally’s voice in my mind.

      • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊

        Huh? Weird.

        Sally doesn’t remind me of a 20-something third-year uni student with no experience of having to make decisions affecting other people that are based on reality and actual outcomes within it. Not to me anyway.

  1. Great. For their next trick the ACTU needs to get Labor to go back to pre-2005 levels of immigration. Then I might consider voting for them.

  2. It sounds like she’s mostly concerned that all our new brothers and sisters will be exploited, rather than the massive numbers of new brothers and sisters.

    • True dat

      She could have gone a step further and said that “to ensure we don’t emperil the low unemployment rate and apparent wage growth – which the RBA is screaming out for alongside workers – and to ensure we continue hiring graduates, apprentices and the already-under/unemployed, perhaps we could have a sensible conversation about returning targeted + humanitarian intake to pre-Howard levels? Whaddaya say, Albo?”

      • If only she would! Melissa’s comment below hers hits the mark, there are young Aussies (many of whom would be immigrants or children of immigrants ) who are now getting opportunities they would not have done pre COVID that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives, boost. Aussie productivity & increase tax they pay back to government, instead of potentialy being on and off welfare for their entire lives. Not to mention unquantifiable effects such as stopping someone from becoming a terrorist as they blame discrimination for their plight when really it was policy driven.

    • If they could not be exploited, they would not be here.

      Immigration is not the root cause.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    We can return to mass immigration no worries at all, but only as long as those immigrants aren’t enslaved and are able to take on enough debt to spend to create new demand and basically participate in the economy.

    At the moment we’re stealing wages from them which is absolutely the wrong thing to do. How can our immigrants ever hope to be able to take on the amounts of debt they need if their wages are stolen? Debt eligibility is a function of income.

    Besides, stealing wages is simply not necessary if there is enough demand, inflation and debt spending created by the new immigrants to justify their wages. Its an economy. A cycle. Some of these business owners really need to go back to school. But we can’t really blame them. Many of our hodgepodge of SMEs that provide the services and sell the imported items in our fine economy of debt are mum-and-dad SMEs who just don’t know the bigger picture. It makes logical sense to them that if they don’t give the money to their workers then they’ll keep it in their pockets, but it doesn’t exactly work like that.

    If the workers can’t afford to buy the services and the imported retail items then who will? 2019 proved that wage thieves alone cannot generate enough new debt nor demand to prevent all the businesses closing.

    • “We can return to mass immigration no worries at all, but only as long as those immigrants aren’t enslaved and are able to take on enough debt to spend to create new demand and basically participate in the economy.”
      Well this is simply not going to happen!
      Enslavement of immigrants from the Second World is a feature of the system, not a bug.
      It’s good for business in terms of profit but not necessarily in terms of productivity.
      After all, they don’t send us their best and brightest and if you are paying them poorly, why would you expect them to put in any extra effort and do a good job.
      Anyone that has been paying attention knows that incompetence and achieving the bare minimum has become standard operating procedure in so many fields it’s not funny.

  4. “they” will open borders

    No, speak the half truth, framing it as a ALP v LNP issue when she knows full well her fundraising beneficiary of choice WILL DO THE EXACT SAME THING. So sally is trying to be half pregnant with a child (immigration reform) that she deemed illegitimate until now.

    Nothing but a partisan pot shot, Sally can f**k right off.

  5. Ghost of Stewie Griffin

    Will be interesting to see how long McManus maintains her road to Damascus conversion.

    Me thinks it will last right up until the moment Labor are elected and turn the immigration spigot back up to 11.

    • I don’t even think it needs to get back to a policy….

      There is no way a low altitude flyer like McManus would ever utter “It has nothing to do with the Albanese Govts economic management”

    • I think labour and the unions convinced themselves they’d grow their member bases with all these young unskilled newbies landing on our shores.

      Their membership hasn’t increased and accordingly they no longer support big immigration – they’ve got to hang onto the few remaining members they still have.

  6. adelaide_economist

    As much as I wish the unions (and the ALP) were having a watershed realisation, this ties in much more comfortably with their ‘more permanent, less temporary’ migrants theme they have used to avoid tackling the main issue of quantity. I don’t see them contemplating a reduction at all in the volume of bodies to be shuffled through, just the makeup of them.

    • There you have it, LVO. The clear verdict of your readers is that Woke Sally is just engaged in some Keneally-style posturing and hair-splitting. I wish they were wrong. But I doubt it.

      As directed by oligarchic donors, no part of the wide-ranging LibLab concordat is stronger than Big Australia. If the Empty Chair wins, he will be the seventh prime minister in a row to maintain Big Australia, regardless of what voters want.

    • I don’t understand who is left to take on even more debt, already the RBA is trapped and can’t raise rates from the pathetic 0.1 level. All these migrants that are underpaid, they can’t afford these ludicrous house prices or the loan amounts needed.

      • Absolute BeachMEMBER

        Yep. The RB is in check, with mate just around the corner. They can’t increase rates in a significant fashion. And so the inflation genie is out of the bottle to stay (although it won’t show up in the fake numbers anyway). Fools.

    • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊


      But can a lion change the dot-pattern under its whiskers?

      Spoiler: No.

  7. Camden HavenMEMBER

    Industry Super, there is the answer as to why she will not protect working Australia. It’s about money silly.