CoronaVirus Job Losses … How many Workers have No Leave Entitlements?

Welcome to the ‘Brave New World of Employment Darwinism’ … this government has striven to achieve this outcome …

-first it was ‘Work Choices’ we know what that was all about, US-style work environments

-the next step was to erode Medicare to get a US-style health system …even using a so-called PPP arrangement as an excuse to meet obligations for change here e.g. to the PBS

NOW with the casualisation of the workforce, and nearly 40% without entitlements the country had more than a hiccup


-the system they have fought to get has a fundamental flawwhen things go astray it doesn’t cope, there’s no capacity to absorb

.social loss
.human needs
.emergencies

WHAT a nice Society we have created, there’s little dignity in seeing things fall apart and being ill equipped to do much about it!

RMIT FACT FILE:  CASUAL EMPLOYMENT PAID LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS

Read more!

COVID-19 has put jobs in danger. How many workers don’t have leave entitlements?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-30/fact-file-casual-employment-paid-leave-entitlements/12089056

RMIT ABC Fact Check

‘As the world struggles to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, workers without paid leave entitlements are clearly among the most vulnerable in the sudden economic downturn.’

-many thousands have lost their jobs; others face unpaid time off work if they need to self-isolate

-with increasing bans on gatherings

EXTRACTS from ‘RMIT FACT CHECK … COVID-19 has put jobs in danger. How many workers don’t have leave entitlements? – ABC Newspaper’

Defining and measuring casual employment

As Fact Check has previously pointed out, there is no formal legal definition of casual employment.

Rather, casual employment “has generally been regarded as employment in which there is an absence of entitlement to paid annual leave or sick leave”, according to a guide published by the Australian Parliamentary Library.’

casual workers receive a higher hourly rate of pay including a casual loading, of an additional 25 per cent

-casuals are entitled to two days of carer’s or compassionate leave per occasion, and 5 days’ unpaid family and domestic violence leave within a 12-month period

How many casuals are there in Australia?

‘As a proportion of all workers in Australia — of which there are around 12.8 millioncasual workers make up 20 per cent, or one in five.’

Casual employment over time

Fact Check found that since 1997 around 24 to 25 per cent of all employees were employed on a casual basis, according to ABS data.

-the impact of recession and weakening of unions led the growth of casual employment

-from the 1980s to the mid-1990s workers lost ground over working conditions

-with increase in longer working hours, unpaid overtime and casualisation

-a consequence of two major recessions; weakened unions; decreased workers’ bargaining power

Other workers without leave entitlements

-self-employed Australians also lack the paid-leave entitlements available to employees on part-time or full-time contracts

-with 2.2 million self-employed Australians

-including either owner-manager of incorporated business, or owner-manager of unincorporated business, and include those working in the gig economy, such as Uber drivers

So how many workers don’t have paid leave entitlements?

The ACTU’s claim that 3.3 million Australian workers were without paid leave entitlements is likely an understatement

Characteristics of workers without paid leave

-casual employees likely to be younger; work in the hospitality and retail industries

-most workers without paid leave were in industries “especially vulnerable to shutdown” such as cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Principal researcher: Ellen McCutchanfactcheck@rmit.edu.au

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-30/fact-file-casual-employment-paid-leave-entitlements/12089056

Cafe worker pours a coffee
PHOTO: 37 per cent of the workforce did not have access to paid leave entitlements in the lead up to the coronavirus pandemic. (ABC News: Sam Ikin)

Australia’s ultra-wealthy population projected to rise by 29%

Australia’s ultra-wealthy population projected to rise by 29%

The number of ultra-wealthy people in Australia is expected to rise by 29% over the next five years, equivalent to an extra 1,085 people, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2020.

March 03, 2020

The data shows Australia’s ultra-high-net-worth-individual (UHNWI) population will rise to 4,881 by 2024, up from 3,796 in 2019, with more than 200 new ultra-wealthy people being created in Australia each year.

Australia’s ultra-wealthy population grew by 5% in 2019 and by 35% over the past five years.

At the same time, Australia’s high-net-worth-individuals (HNWI) are expected to grow by 34% over the next five years to reach close to 2.1 million. Currently, 50 million people globally are considered millionaires, with wealth of  US$1 million or more.

According to Knight Frank’s Head of Residential Research, Australia Michelle Ciesielski, Australia is forecast to have one of the highest rates of growth in UHNWI populations globally over the next five years.

“Australia is ranked equal 15th with Canada for the projected growth in UHNWIs out of 43 countries globally,” she said.

“Our projections are based on The Knight Frank Wealth Sizing Model which allows us to project the number of individuals in each wealth band in the future. We have utilised data including forecast growth in GDP, house prices, equity performance, interest rates and other assets that individuals hold.

“Coming off a number of years of solid growth in Australia, 2019 saw further wealth creation off the back of a resilient stock market and further capital gains in the prime property market. 

“Although challenges in the local economy persist, there has been much more certainty and solidifying of the global economy coming into 2020.”

Knight Frank’s Joint National Head of Private Office Sarah Harding said: “On average 80% of Australian UHNWIs saw an increase in wealth in 2019, well above the global average response of 63% in the Knight Frank Attitudes Survey.

“Looking ahead to 2020, 63% of Australian UHNWIs believe their wealth portfolios will continue to grow, which is optimistic when compared to the global average of 55%.

“Australian UHNWIs cite the top three issues challenging wealth creation in 2020 as being the flow on from the global economic slowdown, negative interest rates or bond returns and the global trade wars. 

“As a result, 92% of Australian ultra-wealthy population are making changes to protect their wealth.” 

According to Ms Ciesielski, “The number of ultra-wealthy people around the world is predicted to grow by 27 per cent over the next five years, with the population rising by 136,087 to just under 650,000. An additional 31,000 UNHWI were created in 2019, an increase of 6.1%.

“Out of the top 20 fastest growing countries presented in the report, six are located in Asia, with India forecast to have the highest growth of 73%.

“We expect Asia will be the world’s second largest wealth hub by 2024, with a forecast five-year growth of 44%, but it will still be only half the size of North America’s ultra-wealthy population, which is forecast to increase by 22%.”

Read The Wealth Report here

SOURCE: https://www.knightfrank.com.au/blog/2020/03/03/australias-ultrawealthy-population-projected-to-rise-by-29?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT1Rjd05qSTJPVGxsWlRJMCIsInQiOiJhRFc2MGJya3k0M002ZzhrZGFVOXVGZTJ1SVNWNU1jcVZFYTB5N1wvQVFNazdiZ0F1dmdNM1daNjVaUlNidW1yU1NTd1UyQkV4NkZibU1WME5Xa2dObnZzQmUxQjMySW5GTms0WXVPYTB5VHJ4OWwxZVQyWEF6eXJKaldlMGZBMGhtWk12SHBhTEFtbkM3SVo2OHZoK1l3PT0ifQ%3D%3D

UNEMPLOYED … have they again been overlooked by Government … ?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce about $8 billion in stimulus payments and other tax breaks to support businesses.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce about $8 billion in stimulus payments and other tax breaks to support businesses.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

From a commentator …

‘But, but Scotty from Marketing was talking the other day about Team Straya, albeit to a meeting of businesspeople?’

EXTRACT FROM ‘UNEMPLOYED SHAFTED AGAIN BY MORRISON GOVERNMENT’

‘So, the Morrison Government has announced an $18 billion stimulus package to combat the coronavirus (see David’s earlier post).

While the unemployed languishing on Newstart will receive tiny one-off payments of $500, they once again were largely overlooked by the federal government, which sees pensioners, small businesses, and tradies as more worthy of report.

Let me explain, once again, why the Morrison Government should have included a large ($75-plus a week) lift to Newstart in its stimulus package.

First, the equity considerations.

The rate of Newstart is pathetically low and has not received a real increase since the early-1990s.

It has fallen well below the Aged Pension and wage growth, including the minimum wage

Newstart is now around 30% below the poverty line

-Australia’s unemployment benefits are the equal lowest in the developed world

lifting Newstart would be the strongest from of demand-side stimulus

-could be implemented within the fortnightly welfare payment cycle

WHY is the Morrison Government so wedded to its ideology?

READ the full report from Leith Van Onselen, Macro Business:

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/03/unemployed-shafted-again-by-morrison-government/

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a multi billion coronavirus stimulus package.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a multi billion coronavirus stimulus package. CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

Macro Business: The rich feast while Aussie households famine

CAAN: Where have Australia’s ultra-high-net-worth- and high-net-worth-individuals come from?

Are they all home-grown? Or have their numbers grown substantially due to the high influx of ‘Permanent Residents’ seeking a bolt hole from mainland China with a UHNWI Visa specially for investment in Australian housing, commercial property and business, and agricultural property?

IS this in addition to Australian property developers rising up the AFR and Forbes Rich Lists? Cough … cough …

Image may contain: 2 people

The rich feast while Aussie households famine

Leith van Onselen

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Economy

March 11, 2020 | 16 comments

While ordinary Australian households tread water financially, experiencing zero growth in household disposable income over more than seven years:

Image result for liberal coalition

Australia’s ultra-wealthy population is projected to balloon further over the next five years, according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report:

The data shows Australia’s ultra-high-net-worth-individual (UHNWI) population will rise to 4,881 by 2024, up from 3,796 in 2019, with more than 200 new ultra-wealthy people being created in Australia each year.

Australia’s ultra-wealthy population grew by 5% in 2019 and by 35% over the past five years.

At the same time, Australia’s high-net-worth-individuals (HNWI) are expected to grow by 34% over the next five years to reach close to 2.1 million. Currently, 50 million people globally are considered millionaires, with wealth of US$1 million or more.

According to Knight Frank’s Head of Residential Research, Australia Michelle Ciesielski, Australia is forecast to have one of the highest rates of growth in UHNWI populations globally over the next five years…

Knight Frank’s Joint National Head of Private Office Sarah Harding said: “On average 80% of Australian UHNWIs saw an increase in wealth in 2019, well above the global average response of 63% in the Knight Frank Attitudes Survey.

“Looking ahead to 2020, 63% of Australian UHNWIs believe their wealth portfolios will continue to grow, which is optimistic when compared to the global average of 55%.

Major growth in high net worth individuals at the same time zero real income growth for households sounds like a country running off the rails.

Leith Van OnselenLeith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

what-is-poverty-1-in-6

Read more: https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/poverty-in-australia/what-is

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/03/the-rich-feast-while-aussie-households-famine/

Scomo Government urged to forget the Surplus and put money in the hands of Australians as the CoronaVirus looks set to punch a hole in the Australian Economy

(Photo by Michele Mossop, Getty Images)The economy is in need of cash injection.

THIS IS HOW …  the Coronavirus has put a hole in the Australian Economy …

AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS is now screaming … because they have been so reliant on China!

WILL they now diversify, and help restore Australian manufacturing … that would improve our economy by creating local jobs and more $$ spent in our Australian Economy!

NOW with the CORONAVIRUS they cannot get vital components for …. goods … appliances … etcetera, etcetera …

Nor can they import … China’s factories have shut down!

Those on NEWSTART urgently need a raise … because they will spend all their allowance … to circulate and lift our Economy!

Will the Scomo Government do the right thing?

SHARE AND TELL OTHERS

EXTRACT: The government is being urged to forget the surplus and put money in the hands of Australians, as the coronavirus looks set to punch a hole in the economy

JACK DERWIN MAR 3, 2020

(Photo by Michele Mossop, Getty Images)The economy is in need of cash injection.

  • It’s time for the government to open up the coffers and spend some money, economists have urged ahead of the RBA rate decision on Tuesday.
  • While the RBA is widely expected to cut interest rates to 0.5%, its impact won’t come quickly enough to help offset the coronavirus.
  • Any cut must be supported by government spending, according to economists from Domain and the Commonwealth Bank.

It might be time for the government to cough up.

As the coronavirus looking like it will punch a hole in the Australian economy, and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) set to cut the interest rate, it’s the Federal Government that has to step up, according to Domain economist Trent Wiltshire.

“There needs to be a two-prong approach. It can’t all be left to the RBA,” Wiltshire told Business Insider Australia on Tuesday, ahead of the RBA’s rate decision.

While the government has previously ruled out the idea of Kevin Rudd-style handouts, there is a “strong argument” for it, Wiltshire said.

It certainly appears the government is slowly coming around to the idea. In a video conference with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted there was a stimulus package coming “in the not too distant future”.’

IS this because the Government’s long running promise to return the budget to surplus is no longer credible? Let alone possible?

Following:

-the summer bushfire season

-the outbreak of the coronavirus

-and the economic damage wrought on a soft economy

Wiltshire suggests thee are many forms that government spending could take e.g.:

-a business investment allowance

Wiltshire and others suggest:

boosting Newstart and rental assistance for people who have a high propensity to spend

-tax cuts would be less effective

Even the RBA GUV has broken ranks with the utmost diplomacy to call for the government to forget its surplus!

As does the Commonwealth Bank!

THE CV has blown a hole through Chinese output and demand … negatively impacting Australian tourism, education and export sectors

WILTSHIRE said he thought the RBA cut too late; that is why the economy has not improved, and why wage growth remains weak

READ MORE!

The Dumbing Down deepens with AAP shutting down

THOUGHTS FROM COMMENTATORS …

-The property/debt parasite spreads through the media, affecting behavioural changes in consumers that makes marketing crap seem like common sense.

-Well, this is going to really help with the RBA’s stated aim of keeping wages up and unemployment low.

-We need a national broadcaster. Make it politically impartial. Call it, say, the ABC.

-You’re killing me. What happened to this country?

Tweet

Gregmus Kelly@gregmus_kelly·ABC MEAA staff say we must #saveAAP. Australia relies on its wire service and dedicated team of journalists. We are dismayed by reports of cuts to this vital service.

View image on Twitter

The dumbening deepens with AAP shutter

By David Llewellyn-Smith in Australian business media

David Llewellyn-Smith

March 3, 2020 | 9 comments

The media duopoly will now be able to distort every single story towards happy clappy real estate:

AAP chairman Campbell Reid and chief executive Bruce Davidson brief staff at Rhodes on Tuesday.

AAP chairman Campbell Reid and chief executive Bruce Davidson brief staff at Rhodes on Tuesday.

AAP staff at Tuesday's briefing on the newswire's closure. It is believed at least 180 jobs will be lost.

AAP staff at Tuesday’s briefing on the newswire’s closure. It is believed at least 180 jobs will be lost.

The Australian Associated Press will shut down its news wire service on June 26 in an historic development for Australia’s media landscape after its two biggest clients and shareholders decided to pull out.

Major shareholders Nine Entertainment Co and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will sever longstanding partnerships with AAP in an effort to cut costs amid a challenging media advertising landscape.

Nine is the owner of this masthead. It is believed at least 180 jobs will be lost in the closure.

…AAP chairman Campbell Reid said to staff: “The loss of AAP’s voice in the Australian conversation bothers me deeply. The fact that too many companies have chosen not to pay to publish that voice is the root of the problem.”

Carn mate, we can’t have you blokes writing real stories to upset the property market.

Breaking:

Coronavirus to lift Australian property prices by 147% in 2020: source.

David Llewellyn-SmithDavid Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/03/the-dumbening-deepens-with-aap-shutter/#comments

More Coalition MPs demand Newstart lift

Nationals' candidate for Cowper Patrick Conaghan speaking into a microphone, just beyond him out of focus is Scott Morrison.

More Coalition MPs demand Newstart lift

Leith van Onselen

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Economy

February 28, 2020 | 2 comments

Nationals MP Pat Conaghan has joined Barnaby Joyce in demanding a $75-week lift to Newstart:

First-term MP Pat Conaghan, who represents the New South Wales mid-north coast seat of Cowper, has broken ranks from Government policy and told the ABC he wants the Coalition to raise Newstart by $75 a week.

Mr Conaghan joins a growing number of colleagues including former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and former prime minister John Howard pushing for an increase.

He described the current rate as “inadequate” and said the Government should still be in a position to adjust Newstart, despite budget pressures.

“I would urge my colleagues from both sides of the floor to have a real discussion. Not just throw it up in the air and punch the ball around,” he said.

“This is something that I think should be at the top of my priority list because you’ve got kids that are going to school without food.

“Forty-one per cent of kids under 15 [years of age] in both Kempsey and Nambucca are under the poverty line”

It is estimated a $75 per week increase would cost the budget $3.3 billion a year, and Mr Conaghan acknowledged it was a sensitive time to campaign on the issue because of the money being spent on bushfire recovery, drought, floods and managing coronavirus.

“It’s probably the worst time to raise this conversation but we have to have it,” he said.

When asked if he would prioritise people and poverty over a budget surplus, he replied “absolutely, any day of the week”…

More Coalition MPs demand Newstart lift

These National MPs join a growing list of groups from across the political divide demanding Newstart be lifted, including:

  • Deloitte Access Economics senior partner Chris Richardson;
  • the Business Council of Australia;
  • Former Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry;
  • Professor Peter Saunders from UNSW;
  • Former Liberal leader, John Hewson;
  • Former Prime Minister, John Howard; *
  • Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos;
  • Business lobbyist, Heather Ridout;
  • The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS);
  • The Salvation Army;
  • South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS);
  • The Australian Greens;
  • KPMG; and
  • Recent Tasmanian Liberal Premier, Will Hodgman.

CAAN: Even John Howard has joined the ranks … his government introduced Visa Workers. With some 1.6 Million Visa workers in Australia … this has led to the lowest wages growth, high youth unemployment and underemployment, and as revealed in a Report by Dr Jim Stanford Australia’s unemployment is at 19.7%!

Australia’s payments to the unemployed are the lowest in the developed world:

They have also fallen way below the poverty line:

The macroeconomic arguments for lifting Newstart are also impeccable, given Australia’s chronically weak domestic demand:

Woman walks past Centrelink office
The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling has found increasing Newstart would reduce inequality and boost incomes most in the 25-36 age group.

Raising Newstart would provide much-needed stimulus for the economy, since the unemployed would spend nearly every dollar they receive.

This would deliver far more ‘bang for the buck’ to the economy than the Coalition’s scheduled tax cuts for higher income earners, given a significant chunk of these tax cuts would be saved.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/02/more-coalition-mps-demand-newstart-lift/

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Migration agents shamed as temporary visa tsunami fuels slavery

Migration Alliance has more than 4000 members to muscle … to maintain the exploitation of Visa workers … one wonders how many more exploited Visa workers are out there … ?

Contrary to this ‘alliance’ Unions have helped Visa workers gain better pay and conditions … have helped Visa Workers obtain compensation … who in fact are playing ‘dirty politics’?

What an awful corrupt nation Australia has become since WHO took the reins … ?

READ MORE then SHARE!

Migration agents shamed as temporary visa tsunami fuels slavery

Leith van Onselen

By Leith van Onselen in International Students

February 28, 2020 | 8 comments

Earlier this month, the peak lobby group for Australia’s registered migration agents – Migration Alliance – attacked Labor’s immigration spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, for claiming that the explosion in temporary visas across the Australian economy was creating exploitation, undercutting local workers and contributing to Australia’s chronically low wage growth:

Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally.

[Keneally’s] views drew the ire of Migration Alliance, which has more than 4000 members and represents registered migration agents in Australia, with the group telling the senator to “stop playing dirty politics”.

“Effectively what Senator Keneally is trying to do is rob New Zealanders, international students, and working holidaymakers from countries such as Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, South Korea and Japan of the opportunity to live and work in Australia,” Migration Alliance said.

“It is abundantly clear that Senator Keneally is the foghorn for the unions. The unions have long detested the working holiday­maker program, and have been pushing to have it abandoned for years.”

Two days later, another 70 migrant workers participating in a Federal Government-led seasonal workers program were found to have been exploited and living in “Slum-like living conditions” in Tasmania.

Now, another case of exploitation has been uncovered with 90 foreign workers found illegally packing asparagus and broccoli grown on the Koo Wee Rup farm:

Seasonal Worker Programme participants, from Vanuatu, harvest asparagus at Kooweerup, in Victoria.

A Gippsland vegetable grower and his associates have been committed to stand trial over more than 100 alleged breaches of the Migration Act.

Giuseppe Vizzarri, Sarith Kit and Chheang Ghek Kim Tang have all pleaded not guilty to allegations they ran a multi-million dollar scheme to use foreign workers.

In December 2016, Australian Border Force (ABF) raided Mr Vizzarri’s Koo Wee Rup asparagus and broccoli farm south-east of Melbourne.

Ninety foreigners were discovered working illegally in the packing shed.

After a two-day committal hearing, Melbourne Magistrate Peter Reardon found there was sufficient evidence for a trial.

Mr Vizzarri and his company M&G Vizzarri Pty Ltd are facing 107 charges — including “knowing or being reckless” to the fact the workers were not able to work under the Migration Act.

Some of the alleged victims were not allowed to work at all, others were in breach of their visa conditions by working at the farm…

Another man, Sarith Kit, faces 109 charges — the same ones as the company, plus two other charges of money laundering.

The men and women — from Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand — were employed on a casual basis to pack asparagus and broccoli grown on the farm, the court was told.

There were “all sorts of shenanigans being used to describe the employment arrangements entered in to,” prosecutor Gavin Silbert QC told the court during a committal hearing which began on Wednesday…

Recall that the Migration Alliance’s beloved Working Holiday­ Maker program has been found by multiple public inquiries to have exploited migrant workers.

In 2016, the Fair Work Ombudsman completed an inquiry into Australia’s backpacker visa scheme, which found tha“many backpackers are being subjected to underpayment or non-payment, unlawful deductions, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions and other forms of exploitation”.

The Senate report, entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, documented widespread abuse of Australia’s Working Holiday Maker visa program, which was “consistently reported to suffer widespread exploitation in the Australian workforce”.

The 2017 National Temporary Migrant Work Survey found that one in every seven temporary migrant fruit and vegetable pickers were paid $5 an hour or less, and a third $10 an hour or less.

In 2018, a group of academics jointly penned an article in Fairfax claiming that exploitation of temporary migrant farm workers is rampant:

Australia already has more backpackers, and relies more strongly on them for horticultural work, than any country

Unlike agricultural visas in New Zealand, Canada and the United States, and unlike Australia’s own Pacific seasonal worker program, there is no pre-approval of employers. Nor is there systematic ongoing regulation to ensure compliance with workplace laws

Story after story after story have exposed exploitation on farms

Olivier ‘Max’ Caramin
Belgian backpacker Olivier ‘Max’ Caramin died after picking pumpkins on a farm in Queensland. Photograph: Facebook

And last yearanother “chronic exploitation” of migrant workers on Australia’s farms was exposed:

Vegetable workers in horticulture farm

Australian authorities are investigating whether dozens of workers from small, remote Fijian villages may be victims of labour exploitation after allegedly being deceptively recruited to work on farms in north-west Victoria.

…a local Victorian MP said worker exploitation was a “chronic” issue in the Sunraysia region, and that the case would not be surprising…

…several people familiar with the workers in the case told the ABC the Fijians reportedly paid roughly $FJ2,300 ($1,545) to a travel agent in Fiji who obtained tourist visas for them rather than working visas

The only ones “playing dirty politics” here is the Migration Alliance. *

*Wage theft will not be addressed properly without reforming Australia’s visa system, given migrants are ‘ground zero’ for exploitation, usually by other migrants. *

A report says a majority of students know when they are being exploited by employers but feel unable to speak out.

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Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/02/migration-agents-shamed-as-temporary-visa-deluge-fuels-slavery/

Why Australian families are feeling poorer

The cost of childcare is up 97 per cent over the past two decades while housing is up 94 per cent and food and non-alcoholic beverages are up 62 per cent.

SMH: The cost of childcare is up 97 per cent over the past two decades while housing is up 94 per cent and food and non-alcoholic beverages are up 62 per cent.

Why Australian families are feeling poorer

Leith van Onselen

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Economy

February 27, 2020 | 11 comments

Fidelity International has released research which helps to explain why Australian households are feeling the pinch, despite the ABS’ reported low growth in inflation and its official cost of living indices.

According to Fidelity, there has been low inflation in discretionary goods that you may want, but high growth in non-discretionary growth that families need:

…by far the largest price rises in the past 20 years is in private secondary school education up a whopping 203 per cent – and private pre-school and primary education (up 159 per cent).

The 2019 Australian Scholarships Group Planning for Education Index reveals that the forecast cost to educate a child starting out now in a government school through to year 12 is more than $68,000. That figure climbs to $127,000 for Catholic schooling and more than $298,000 for private school/independent education…

The cost of medical and hospital care has almost trebled in the past 20 years…

The price of insurance itself has jumped about 118 per cent.

When combined with the zero real household disposable income growth over the past seven years:

No wonder Australian households are feeling the pinch, despite official measures of inflation also cratering.

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

The cost of childcare is up 97 per cent over the past two decades while housing is up 94 per cent and food and non-alcoholic beverages are up 62 per cent.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/02/why-australian-families-are-feeling-poorer/

Victorian Vegetable Grower Paid Vast Amounts of CASH for ILLEGAL WORKERS … Melbourne Court Told

AND this is the tip of the iceberg (lettuce) … as well

THIS has been going on for years … the narrative given is of particular interest … it gives a glimpse of what and how the so-called systems we have in place are in fact …

-porous
-not thorough on arrival
-no follow-up to reduce the number of over stayers

THE LIST goes on …

IS it a tacit acceptance by the Federal Government (Scomo Govt) to allow this to go as it puts downward pressure on wages?

AND is …

disruptive to the AWARD WAGE SYSTEM

PLUS …

-money laundering

-visa manipulation

Victorian vegetable grower paid ‘vast amounts of cash’ for illegal workers, Melbourne court told

By court reporter Karen Percy

UPDATED 27 FEBRUARY 2020

Seasonal Worker Programme participants, from Vanuatu, harvest asparagus at Kooweerup, in Victoria.

PHOTO: The court heard the illegal workers packed broccoli and asparagus on the farm. (ABC Rural: Laura Poole, file photo)RELATED STORY: Illegal farm workers detained in farm raid

A Victorian vegetable grower has been accused of taking part in a multi-million-dollar scheme involving the illegal use of foreign workers to pack vegetables, a Melbourne court has heard.

Key points:

  • Giuseppe Vizzarri, his company and another man, Sarith Kit, are facing more than 100 charges each
  • Foreign workers were found illegally packing asparagus and broccoli grown on the Koo Wee Rup farm
  • The court was told “vast amounts of cash” were paid into banks and withdrawn in cash for the workers

On December 2, 2016, agents from the Australian Border Force (ABF) raided the Vizzarri farm in Koo Wee Rup, about 75 kilometres south-east of Melbourne and found 90 foreigners working illegally inside the packing shed.

Giuseppe Vizzarri and his company M&G Vizzarri Pty Ltd are facing 107 charges — including “knowing or being reckless” to the fact the workers were not able to work under the Migration Act.

Some of the alleged victims were not allowed to work at all, others were in breach of their visa conditions by working at the farm.

A man with grey hair wearing a suit walks down steps outside court with his hands in his pockets with others surrounding him.

PHOTO: Australian Border Force officials raided Giuseppe Vizzarri’s farm in late 2016. (ABC News: Karen Percy)

*Another man, Sarith Kit, faces 109 charges — the same ones as the company, plus two other charges of money laundering.

The men and women — from Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand — were employed on a casual basis to pack asparagus and broccoli grown on the farm, the court was told.

Workers’ attendance marked by drivers, court told

There were “all sorts of shenanigans being used to describe the employment arrangements entered in to,” prosecutor Gavin Silbert QC told the court during a committal hearing which began on Wednesday.

Workers were brought in by word of mouth, the court heard.

Some workers were employed as drivers who “transported workers to the farm and recorded their attendance,” Mr Silbert said.

Some also operated as recruiters.

A man with black hair wearing a dark blue jacket and light coloured pants walks down the steps outside court.

PHOTO: Sarith Kit is accused of running a sham labour hire company that employed illegal migrant workers. (ABC News: Karen Percy)

The court heard “vast amounts of cash” — in the millions of dollars — was paid by M&G Vizzarri to companies run by Mr Kit known as VNT Golden Pty Ltd and STN8 Pty Ltd.

The money was then withdrawn in cash and given to the Vizzarri workers.

*”They were paid well below award rates under the disguise of being legitimate arrangements of the labour hire companies,” Mr Silbert said.

Mr Kit is also charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime, after ABF officers seized $455,490 in Australian currency and $US15,200 in cash after a raid on his home.

Chheang Ghek Kim Tang is also charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime.

A close-up photograph of baby broccoli growing in a field.

PHOTO: The workers packed broccoli and asparagus on the farm. (ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter, file photo)

Defence lawyer for Mr Vizzarri and his company, Justin Hannebery QC, said his client was charged with immigration offences, not exploiting workers or the underpayment of workers.

Tito Hardian Sukamto, from Indonesia, gave evidence that he started working at Vizzarri farms in September 2015.

He was a driver who ensured other workers got to the Vizzarri farm, keeping records of their attendance.

He also helped recruit others to work on the farm but stopped when he found it too stressful, a statement tendered to the court shows.

The statement was made on the day of the ABF raid.

‘No-one ever asked about my visa status’

*During cross-examination Mr Sukamto admitted he knew when he arrived on a 10-day holiday visa in January 2008 that he intended to stay on.

“I was told I could find someone who could change the visitor visa to a visa to study,” Mr Sukamto said via a translator.

Instead he applied for a protection visa on the grounds he had cancer, telling immigration officials he wanted to stay in Australia to ensure he got better medical treatment, the court heard.

He told police that a Cambodian man called Mr Lee was in charge of finding workers at Vizzarri farms.

Asparagus lays on a table.

PHOTO: Mr Silbert told the court the workers were paid well below award rates. (ABC Rural: Olivia Garnett, file photo)

“Lee is at the farm all day, everyday that we work. He has around 100 workers at the farm. He does not work, he just supervises,” he said.

His statement showed he worked 50 to 60 hours a week, earning an hourly rate of $18.

“No-one at the farm has ever asked me about my visa status,” he said in a statement tendered to the court.

Another man, Agus Yusta Pradnyana, worked at a number of farms including the Vizzarri property.

*The court heard he came to Australia from Bali in 2012 with his mother on a holiday visa.

His aim, the court heard, was to work to pay off his father’s debts.

He applied for a protection visa the day he arrived in Sydney, the court was told.

He started at Vizzarri in September 2015 and was also a driver.

A statement showed the workers were paid on Fridays.

Cash was put inside envelopes with the worker’s hours and total pay written on them, as well as a number identifying them.

Mr Pradnyana was number 602, his statement showed.

He was paid $15 for packing and $18 when he drove the vans.

He was not working at the farm the day of the raid, the court was told.

During cross-examination by lawyer Simon Moglia — representing Mr Kit and Ms Tang — both men admitted they knew they could not work before they left their home countries.

In a statement tendered to the court, Mr Pradnyana also said he was never asked by anyone at Vizzarri farms if he had a visa to work.

The committal hearing continues in front of Magistrate Peter Reardon.

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SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-27/vegetable-grower-faces-court-over-sham-contracting-allegations/12002232

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