World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


AWU Condemns New Wool Industry Push For Cheap Overseas Labour

The Australian Workers’ Union says this week’s wool industry appeal for Pacific Island workers to be used to fill a supposed worker shortfall is just another attempt to undercut pay and conditions using cheap imported labour.

The wool industry claims to have identified a workforce shortage of 500 shearers and 500 shed hands, and wants to use Pacific Islands workers in what it hopes will be the start of a steady pipeline of easily exploitable workers.

AWU National Secretary Dan Walton said the union was not convinced there was a genuine worker shortage.

“Despite the ongoing claims by the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia and some woolgrowers of a labour shortage, the fact is the Australian flock has been shorn year after year,” Mr Walton said.

“It was successfully shorn right through the Covid pandemic, and it can be shorn now.

“The Shearing Contractors Association and the same wool growers just don’t want to pay the current market rate, which is 15% above award, simply because they have not been able to flood the market with cheap labour.

“They should stop looking overseas and instead work to attract Aussie workers by offering fair pay and conditions, and proper training.”

Mr Walton said while the AWU had backed the Pacific Australian Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme’s use as a safeguard against wage theft and worker exploitation in the horticulture industry, it had raised strong concerns to the Agriculture Department about its unsuitability for the wool industry.

And he said that far only one shearing contractor had applied to become an approved PALM scheme employer.

“The AWU will be closely looking at this approved employer/contractor to ensure that they are properly training these workers and ensuring that any approved employer/contractor meets their obligations regarding labour-market testing under the PALM scheme, and they haven’t so far.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>

ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...

Ukraine: UN Rights Office Probe Spotlights Harrowing Plight Of Civilians

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday... More>>

Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>

UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>