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John Passant

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March 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



The CFMEU shows unions can and must defend workers on 457 visas


This is a report from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union page. It shows that unions can stand up for all workers, including those on 457 visas.  Unions can win proper wages and conditions for 457 visa workers and in doing that also help stop the bosses undermining others workers’ pay and conditions.  Great work from the CFMEU.

Last night we had the absolute pleasure of talking with these four lovely gentlemen. These are four of the Filipino 457 workers who came to Australia with Chia Tung.  They signed contracts promising the proper rates of pay and accommodation – what they got was a shipping container on the construction site for four of them, and a single bedroom for the other six.

They got around $10 cash in hand instead of what they were told, and their overtime rate was $15. They spoke up about it as much as they could, but their supervisor just kept stonewalling them. When we asked them why they didn’t just walk away, they said they knew that they should, but they also knew that if they just put up with it, maybe eventually they could find better work and keep their dream of working here alive.

They were working in a separate section to where some locals were working, so they didn’t get a chance to meet people who could have told them about the union and their workplace rights in Australia.

The next part of their story is pretty shocking, we’re working on a video so that they can tell you themselves. These guys have families, one of them even lost his home in the recent typhoon – they are not the problem with the 457 migration system, they’re workers just like you, the problem is with the Government who ignore this systemic exploitation, and the employers who do these awful things to people who are in a position to be easily exploited rather make an effort to hire locals who know their rights.



Comment from Phil Kyson
Time March 16, 2015 at 7:15 am

457 workers should never be paid less than the Australian Award. Should never be employed if there are local workers that could do the job.
Must join the industry Union and only pay the membership fees according to length of time employed. Anything less than this should illegal by law, no if’s, no but’s.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 17, 2015 at 9:12 pm

I definitely agree with Phil. I would also add that 457 visa holders should not have access to full-time work while Australians are given only a couple of shifts and end up losing their homes.

The government should also be training Australians to do semi-skilled jobs such as scaffolding. The main aim should be to fill all jobs with Australian workers, not to rip off foreign workers and create religious and racial tensions.

Migrant workers should only be used when there is a glut of jobs, not a glut of workers.

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