TWU 'cautiously welcomes' 457 Visa change

THE TRANSPORT Workers' Union has cautiously welcomed the Government's recent announcement to shift 457 visas to a two tiered scheme.   

However the Union did clarify that the social media announcement was light on detail, with regards to the two new visas that will replace the current 457.   

Assistant National Secretary Michael Kaine said it was too early to make specific comments on what this would mean for the future of the trucking industry but said he was pleased the visa issue was being addressed.   

"The TWU has never been an opponent of appropriate skilled migration but the 457 system and other visa rorts have allowed companies to undermine acceptable conditions and wages by exploiting workers from overseas," Kaine said.  

The TWU have recently alleged that some companies in the transport sector have exploited the current system, by using the skilled migration visas to employ individuals for jobs such as forklift driving that could be taken by local workers.  

The group says the jobs were not properly advertised; therefore, a skills deficit could not truly be established as per the company's claim.  

"It was simply a rort to get cheap labour and exploit vulnerable workers," Mr Kaine said.  

"While we think this is welcome news, the union will continue to fight to ensure the Government is properly overseeing visa programs to stop transport companies from engaging in a race-to-the-bottom."