Despite sending the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) a written invitation to its upcoming Skilled Migration Conference, the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has rejected conference registrations from union officials.
MUA WA Branch Secretary Christy Cain received a written invitation to attend the conference, which promises to inform participants about the impact of forthcoming legislative changes.
Mr Cain subsequently completed the online registration form, paying the registration fee with his credit card. After completing the registration process, the MUA was phoned by events management and advised that the conference was full, and his application fee would be refunded in full.
Mr Cain this was another example of AMMA trying to mislead industry, the community and politicians about skills availability in Australia.
“AMMA has worked around the clock for the last few years, telling Australians that there are not enough skilled workers here, and we need to import foreign workers,” Mr Cain said.
“They know there are plenty of skilled workers in Australia, but they want to provide cover for industry attempts to bring in workers who are afraid to speak up about wages and conditions, for fear of being sent home.
“By blocking unions from their conference, it is clear that AMMA’s Skilled Migration Conference will be a puff piece, where participants only hear one side of the argument.
“We know Assistant Immigration Michaelia Cash will be speaking and running the industry line, and we think unions should be able to attend to give the perspective of Australian workers.
“We call on AMMA to reverse its decision to block unions from their conference, and enable us to attend and put the other side of skilled migration debate.”