03 June 2008

Unions join together to get better pay for Australian visa holders

Several unions are currently campaigning for better pay for visa holders in Australia. Representatives of major unions in the country are approaching the Government to enforce market wages for people on certain temporary visas, reports the Australian newspaper.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Australian Workers Union have combined efforts to improve standards of pay for those who immigrate to Australia. Julius Roe, president of the AMWU, told the news provider, "We'll be arguing that there should be a specific requirement to pay market rates and that those market rates should essentially be made applicable in relevant collective agreements."

Currently, people on a temporary visa (subclass 457) are given a minimum wage, but not necessarily a market wage, meaning some Australian visa holders may be paid less than the permanent residents or citizens of the country. John Sutton, National Secretary of the CFMEU, said visa workers should get the same pay, benefits and conditions as local workers. The Government recently brought in minimum wage requirements for temporary visa holders for Australia, with the salary being increased by 3.8 per cent.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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