Malaysian labour scam industry wake-up call
E tū is urging the construction industry to get its house in order after revelations of a scam involving illegal Malaysian construction workers.
Union Industry Coordinator, Ron Angel says the scam is symptomatic of how easy it is to lose control these days of just who is working on building sites.
“People are calling this third-tier subcontracting but actually, these are fourth-tier subcontractors and the situation is out of control.
“Construction firms have come to rely on them due to labour shortages, but they are a risk. Hundreds of these workers were here illegally, with no monitoring of their pay and conditions, and probably no labour protection of any sort,” says Ron.
“This rort is a wake-up call for contractors and project managers to monitor their sites and their workforce properly. This industry needs to get its house in order.”
Ron says the situation strengthens the case for directly employing workers as well as providing standardised wages and training.
“If it applies to everyone, then there’s a level playing fields,” he says.
Ron says there are also obvious concerns about the exploitation by unscrupulous agents of visitor visa arrangements with Malaysia.
“You would have to worry that so many people could evade basic security checks by slipping into the country in this way, including using false names.”