Fixing broken work migration system will take more than a re-brand

The Australian Council of Trade Unions says Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that he will replace 457 visas that have a different name will not address the real concerns of workers who are unemployed, wanting more hours and frustrated at the Turnbull government's inaction while jobs are being replaced and casualised.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said: “Malcolm Turnbull's announcement is more spin than substance. On the face of it, it looks like a cynical attempt to rebrand a wildly unpopular policy.

“It doesn’t matter what you call the visa scheme itself, what matters is that Malcolm Turnbull put an end to the exploitation of workers and of work visas.

“When we bring in workers from overseas they need to fill genuine skills gaps. It is unlikely Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal will do anything to remedy the chronic exploitation of our work visa system. Where workers can come to Australia and do entry level jobs like retail shop assistants or kitchenhands, we still have a broken system.

“Unions want to see a full tripartite review mechanism for work visas and and rigorous labour market testing. Rather than this policy-on-the-run approach, the Government needs to consider what Australian workers want and need when it comes to protecting Australian jobs."