Today’s reports from the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) and Fairfax Media on Thomas Foods International are deeply disturbing.
The Greens support the AMIEU’s call for employers to be prevented from using migrant workers to undercut job opportunities for local workers, and for better protections for migrant workers to ensure they are not exploited, said Greens candidate for New England, Peter Wills, and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.
"We have seen similar stories emerge of abuse of vulnerable workers, with the stipulation that they must rent at one certain house, crammed in with fellow workers,” said Peter Wills.
“Knowing the price of rents here in Tamworth, and the indicated numbers of people sharing homes, with the rent they appear to be paying - someone is pocketing a slush of money in the middle.
"Whilst welcoming new genuine workers into the area, if indeed the skilled workers haven't been found on the ground, we have a massive problem with youth unemployment here in the area.
“New England has plenty of young locals and others actively seeking work, who are keen to be trained up for these jobs, and that is essential for the long-term sustainability of the industry,” said Peter Wills.
Senator Rhiannon said, “The Turnbull government should take much of the blame for these shocking reports of exploitation.”
“The government’s failure to invest in our regions and their union-bashing agenda has given the green light to employers to undercut wages, conditions and job opportunities for all workers.
“I congratulate the AMIEU on this report and we’ll work with them to ensure jobs are available for everyone in Tamworth,” said Senator Rhiannon.