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1000s of foreign workers being exploited: meatworkers' union

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The Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Union has said a Beresfield chicken processing plant is only one that has been using exploited foreign contractors on holiday visas.

The Newcastle Herald reports that the AMIEU alleges “black” companies importing 1000s of underpaid workers from south-east Asia, and this was spreading to the abattoir industry.

"We have gone to the authorities but paper trails are few and the short stays mean the individuals are gone before anyone can do anything.’’ Grant Courtney  from the union told the Herald.

"Even the $11 or $12 an hour they were paying at Beresfield is big money in Korea or China. They are paid in cash, driven to and from work to houses where they pay $100 a week or more for a bed with 30 others.

"They are told to hide if they see a white person come to the door, they are bullied, threatened and coerced.”

Courtney has said many are on 417 visas, and companies including Pham Poultry – featured on Lateline earlier this week with claims they had provided exploitative foreign labour to Baiada Poultry at Beresfield – were paying as low as $7.70 an hour.

Pham earlier said the claims regarding Baiada were “bullshit”, and has denied doing anything wrong.


Image: http://www.unite.org.au/


 

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