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Almost every fresh produce that Australians buy will have passed through the hands of workers who have been fundamentally exploited, according to one union official. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers toil in food factories and farms. Some of theses enterprises boast billion dollar revenues, but the profits aren’t being felt by the workers. Instead, food is picked and packed by exploited labour. Through working holiday visas and sometimes using false documents, Asian workers are grossly underpaid, forced to work punishing hours, and face abuse, harassment and assault. exposes the dirty secrets behind Australia’s fresh food produce.
More claims of exploitation have emerged against convenience store chain 7-Eleven and other outlets after a joint Four Corners/Fairfax investigation revealed systemic underpayment of workers.
Exploited workers in Australia- PDF
This is an interim report of the findings to date from a threeyear ARC DECRA research project into the experience of unlawful migrant workers in Australia.
There have been a number of alleged cases of labour exploitation involving temporary migrant workers in Australia since the late 1990s. The Australian construction industry was identified as particularly problematic, with allegations of deception in relation to work contracts, lack of compliance with employment standards, limited autonomy and threats of abuse levelled.
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