Immigration and Border Protection

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October 29, 2018

A new report has revealed more than 90 per cent of migrant workers have suffered appalling and inexcusable wage theft whilst working on a temporary visa in Australia with the scale of unpaid wages said to be over $1 billion.

The report “Wage Theft in Silence: Why Migrant Workers Do Not Recover Their Unpaid Wages in Australia” makes clear how the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government continues to fail some of the most vulnerable workers in Australia.

The report – based on the first large-scale national survey of temporary migrant workers – shows the systemic nature of wage theft occurring in Australia including:

  • Only three in every 100 underpaid migrant workers in Australia went to the Fair Work Ombudsman;
  • Out of those very few who reported, over half did not recover their unpaid wages; and
  • Fewer than one in ten international students and backpackers took action to recover wages they were owed.

International students or backpackers should be coming to Australia to study or to experience a cultural exchange rather than creating an underclass of workers in Australia. 

This latest report adds to the growing pile of evidence about how unscrupulous employers deliberately and knowingly exploit migrant workers because they know they won’t complain.

Scandal after scandal has made it clear that worker exploitation and systematic wage theft is widespread and the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government have failed to stamp it out.

This exploitation must stop.

The out-of-touch Morrison Government has no concern or care when it comes to proper treatment of workers; they are only focussed on their own jobs.

In the absence of leadership from Morrison’s Muppet Show, Labor will continue to lead the way to stamp out underpayment and exploitation of vulnerable workers in Australia.

Only Labor understands that fairness at work helps to drive a more productive, competitive and prosperous economy.

Rather than the race to the bottom on wages and conditions for all Australian workers we’ve seen under the Liberals, Labor is committed to protecting wages and conditions by cracking down on worker exploitation.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.