Re: News/AUSTRALIA: NEWS - CRITICS SLAM ILLEGAL ALIENS WORK PLAN.

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

Subject: Re: News/AUSTRALIA: NEWS - CRITICS SLAM ILLEGAL ALIENS WORK PLAN.
From: Jenny Stanger (jenny_stanger@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Feb 15 2000 - 22:12:37 EST


>From: Melanie Orhant <morhant@igc.org>
>Reply-To: stop-traffic@friends-partners.org
>To: Multiple recipients of list STOP-TRAFFIC
><stop-traffic@friends-partners.org>
>Subject: News/AUSTRALIA: NEWS - CRITICS SLAM ILLEGAL ALIENS WORK PLAN.
>Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 09:47:53 -0500
>
>14Feb00 AUSTRALIA: NEWS - CRITICS SLAM ILLEGAL ALIENS WORK PLAN.
>By JANINE MacDONALD with AAP.
>CANBERRA
>A plan to use illegal workers to solve the chronic shortage of skilled
>labor in the fruit-picking industry has been described as ludicrous by the
>Opposition and unions.
>Unions warned the plan would undermine the wage system and the Opposition
>Immigration spokesman, Mr Con Sciacca, said it would send the wrong message
>to people-smugglers.
>The Immigration Minister, Mr Philip Ruddock, has agreed to consider a
>proposal from a coalition of fruit growers to allow immigrants in detention
>to work in the fruit-picking industry.
>He has asked the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to
>prepare an urgent brief outlining the likely cost, security problems and
>the legality of employing people without work rights.
>The proposal to put thousands of people in Australian detention centres to
>work came from an association of southern employers that represents more
>than 6000 growers.
>But the suggestion has outraged the Australian Workers Union (AWU), which
>has ridiculed the idea as inconsistent and unworkable.
>The AWU Victorian state secretary, Mr Bill Shorten, said: "If we find a
>farm where the Government is sending illegal immigrants, we'll blockade the
>farm. It sets a bad precedent, and it'll be impossible to enforce.
>"Only last year they were arresting people in the Goulburn Valley (for
>being illegal immigrants) and now they're wanting to put them back."
>Mr Shorten said the real reason fruit growers could not find labor for
>picking was that the money wasn't good enough.
>"The majority of farmers try to do the right thing, but pickers find a lot
>of the accommodation inadequate and there are occupational health and
>safety problems," he said.
>"What if someone gets injured? Are they going to pay them compo when they
>get home?"
>Mr Sciacca said the idea should be dismissed out of hand.
>"It sends the exact converse message that we have been trying to send over
>the last 12 months," he said.
>Mr Ruddock signalled yesterday there were impediments to the plan -
>including the cost of security, accommodation, wages and relocating
>migrants from the north to the southern fruit-picking states.
>He said farmers would have to pay award wages but most of the earnings
>would be paid to the Federal Government to cover the multi-million-dollar
>cost of illegal immigration.
>The scheme would be voluntary.
>"Any amounts of money that would be received (by the worker) I think after
>proper recoupment of costs wouldn't be a significant incentive," Mr Ruddock
>said.
>"I'm looking at it. A proposal doesn't mean we've accepted it." - with AAP.
>
>
>AGE (MELBOURNE) 14/02/2000 P4
>
>

FARM WORKERS IN THE U.S. NEED OUR HELP
The Australian proposal sounds quite similar to two bills proposed in the
House right now, S.1814 and S.1815 which would allow for a new temporary
foreign agricultural worker program that would put workers in a position of
indentured servitude to their employers. It's ironic that while the
government is seeking to legislate an anti-trafficking bill it is also
drafting legislation that would allow for employers to traffick workers in
the guise of a guest worker program. Please see crlaf.org/gworkers.htm to
get more info and send a letter of opposition to Congress. In addition,
organizations can sign-on. The site is easy to use.

Jenny Stanger, Media/Advocacy Coordinator
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking
c/o Little Tokyo Service Center
231 E. Third Street, #G104
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-473-1611 phone
213-473-1601 fax
www.trafficked-women.org
______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com


New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

This archive was generated by hypermail 2a22 : Wed Feb 16 2000 - 15:29:00 EST