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News Media Releases WA unions take to the streets over dodgy visas and resource companies' failure to train WA’s youth
WA unions take to the streets over dodgy visas and resource companies' failure to train WA’s youth
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 10:09

Western Australian unions are coming together today to condemn the dodgy use of temporary visas by resource companies and the failure of these companies to provide training opportunities for WA’s young people.

WA CFMEU Construction Secretary Kevin Reynolds said construction, mining and resource companies should be providing employment and training opportunities for local workers first before looking to overseas.

“We are rallying today to tell the resource companies like Chevron, Woodside and Sino Steel that you can sell our resources but not our futures.”

Maritime Union of Australia State Secretary, Chris Cain said the Federal Government had to act now to stem the illegal use of visas by resource companies and their contractors.

“These companies are getting away with murder,” said Mr Cain. “They bring in temporary overseas workers, they pay them appallingly and they fail to train our young people. These companies are using immigration loopholes to bring in workers on dodgy visas and massively undercut local wages and conditions.

“Unions recognise the contribution migrants have made helping build this nation. We will continue to welcome migrants to WA but what we are protesting about today is the exploitation of temporary overseas workers.”

UnionsWA President Meredith Hammat said that despite the resource boom it has never been harder to get an apprenticeship in WA.

“In WA we have declining numbers of apprenticeships in key industries such as construction and engineering.

“Resource companies have been arguing for massive increases in temporary workers from overseas while youth unemployment levels in some of Perth’s suburbs are as high as 24.6%.”

CEPU Electrical and Plumbing State Secretary, Les Mclaughlan said that in a boom state the lack of opportunity for local kids was criminal.

“Our kids deserve the same chance of an apprenticeship and training, and decent job as their parents and grandparents had. No one can know how long the boom will last, but there’s no excuse for not making it work for all Australians, rather than for a few greedy executives and shareholders.”

UnionsWA President Meredith Hammat said unions were committed to an ongoing campaign on these issues. “As a union movement we will continue to fight for local job opportunities, local training and fair pay and conditions for all workers on WA projects.”

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