Subject: Re: News/AUSTRALIA: NEWS - CRITICS SLAM ILLEGAL ALIENS WORK PLAN.
From: Jenny Stanger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Feb 15 2000 - 22:12:37 EST
>From: Melanie Orhant <email@example.com>
>To: Multiple recipients of list STOP-TRAFFIC
>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.
>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
>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
>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
>"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
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
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