Worker sur­vey wor­ry­ing

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

A TAS­MA­NIAN sen­a­tor will can­vas mi­grant work­ers and in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to flush out more sto­ries about wage theft af­ter a re­port show­ing the prob­lem is “en­demic” na­tion­wide.

The Wage Theft in Australia – Find­ings of the Na­tional Tem­po­rary Mi­grant Work Sur­vey has raised alarm bells as it found one in three in­ter­na­tional stu­dents and back­pack­ers were be­ing paid half the min­i­mum wage or less.

The re­port fol­lows mul­ti­ple in­ves­ti­ga­tions in Tas­ma­nia that have seen work­ers paid back money owed.

La­bor Sen­a­tor Lisa Singh said in Tas­ma­nia, 64 per cent of sur­vey par­tic­i­pants iden­ti­fied farm work or har­vest­ing as the low­est paid job they had un­der­taken in Australia while 27 per cent iden­ti­fied kitchen and wait­ing jobs and 9 per cent said they had been paid least in hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism.

Only 11 peo­ple work­ing in Tas­ma­nia took part in the sur­vey and Sen­a­tor Singh wants to get a clearer pic­ture by talk­ing to tar­get groups.

“I am ex­tremely con­cerned by the sys­temic wage theft and un­der­pay­ment of over­seas work­ers de­tailed in this re­port,” she said.

The re­port also in­di­cated that crim­i­nal of­fences such as forced labour or hu­man traf­fick­ing may be oc­cur­ring when work­ers must pay money to get a job, pay cash back to their em­ployer, have pass­ports con­fis­cated or are threat­ened with be­ing re­ported to im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties.

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