06 June 2008
Senator Evans working for immigrants to be treated like Aussies
The Australian Immigration Minister, Senator Chris Evans, has recently announced plans to raise the Minimum Salary Level (MSL) for migrant workers. By August, the minimum wages for immigrants to Australia should increase by 3.8 per cent.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) put pressure on Senator Evans to improve the employment conditions for immigrants on the 457 visa, which allows foreign workers to work in Australia for a period between three months to four years.
"Minister Evans should be congratulated for bringing 457 wages closer into line with Australian market rates of pay," said CFMEU’s National Secretary in a recent press release. "While the union has an issue with the size of the increase and the date of application, it is indisputably the step in the right direction."
Senator Evans commented, "It increases the safety net for skilled migrant workers to help preserve their earnings power and protect them from exploitation in the workplace."
The Senator also assures that of the 68,000 people holding the 457 visa in Australia, most are professional workers earning well above the MSL.
Many employers are backing the influx of immigrant workers to Australia, claims The Australian newspaper, as they fill the unwanted jobs around the country. The Government, in particular, are pushing for more people from the UK to immigrate to Australia or to sign up for a working holiday.