Immigration and Border Protection

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November 21, 2017

Examples of appalling and endemic wage theft ripping off migrant workers in Australia further expose Turnbull and his Liberals for failing vulnerable workers.

The report “Wage Theft in Australia” follows the National Temporary Migrant Work Survey undertaken by UNSW Sydney and UTS – an online survey of 4,322 people who had worked in Australia on a temporary visa.

Nearly a third of migrant workers surveyed were paid $12 an hour or less – well below the minimum wage – and half reported they never or rarely received pay slips.

This is not only bad for migrant workers but signals the race to the bottom for Australian workers and the economy under the Liberals.

Turnbull should have been out of the blocks this morning outlining his policy to clean up this systemic exploitation of workers.

If this was legislation attacking the rights of workers and unions, Minister Cash wouldn’t hesitate to come forward.

Instead, all the Liberals have done is set up taskforce after taskforce – all of which appear to have no tasks and clearly no force.

It is unacceptable that in a country like Australia we are seeing such appalling mistreatment of workers and it is clear this out of touch Prime Minister doesn’t take systemic examples of worker exploitation seriously.


The Turnbull Government’s worker exploitation legislation was seriously deficient, yet they refused to accept a range of proposals from Labor. Given the serious allegations in this report, Labor calls on Turnbull and his Liberals to accept Labor’s policies.  


Under Turnbull, we are headed towards an easy to hire, easy to fire society, which is distorting job security and income distribution.