The Construction Worker - November Edition
In the News
Media Release 12.12.14 - CFMEU National Office
Blanket exemption from 457 labour market testing for all Korean nationals
The Abbott Government has revealed a blanket exemption from labour market testing for all Korean nationals in the standard 457 visa program, with the enactment of the Korean Australian Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) today. The revelation comes a day after unemployment levels hit a 14 year high. The move will mean that all employers in Australia (both Australian and Korean firms) will no longer have to seek qualified locals to fill vacancies in the skilled trade, nursing and engineering occupations and prove none could be found, before 457s are approved for Koreans; and labour market testing is permanently banned in all other 457 occupations from now on. The CFMEU National Secretary Michael O'Connor said the Government had initially refused to tell the public the truth about what it was giving away in the KAFTA. click here to read full story.
Media Release 11.12.14 - CFMEU National Office
Bad Santa: Abbott delivers increase in unemployment, same level of 457 visas this Christmas
The Abbott Government is ending the year by delivering another increase in unemployment levels, yet no corresponding decrease in 457 visas. Today's ABS labour force data shows national unemployment reached a 14 year high of 6.3 per cent. Yesterday, Immigration Department figures revealed the rate of 457 visas has remained steady despite rising unemployment and weak jobs growth. There were 109,830 visa workers in Australia at the end of September 2014, almost the same number as a year before (110,280) when the labour market was stronger. A year ago, unemployment was at 5.7 per cent.
CFMEU National Secretary Michael O'Connor said the combination of inertia on job creation and a failure to fix the temporary visa scheme was proving disastrous for Australian jobseekers. "Unemployment levels are now reaching long term record highs as Prime Minister Tony Abbott lurches from self inflicted crisis to self inflicted crisis". Click here to read full story
Media Release 10.12.14 - CFMEU National Office
Latest 457 visa data - local workers miss out on 6,500 jobs
The number of workers in Australia on 457 visas has remained steady despite rising unemployment and weak jobs growth, according to today's figures from the Immigration Department. The figures reveal:
** there were 109,830 visa workers in Australia at the end of September 2014, almost the same number as a year before (110,280) when the labour market was stronger;
** over the last year 52,490 visas were granted, despite the labour market only growing by 92,700 jobs;
** new 457 visa grants were equal to almost two thirds of total net growth in employment over that period; and
** 40,212 visa grants over this period were for overseas nationals aged under 30 at the time they got their visa.
Over that 12 month period, unemployment has gone from 5.7 per cent to 6.2 per cent and youth unemployment for 15 to 24 year olds has risen from 12.7 per cent to 13.5 per cent. CFMEU National Secretary Michael O'Connor said: "If the 457 visa system was working properly, you'd expect to see less 457s as the jobs market gets worse. " click here to read the full story.
Notices and FWC Orders
*** CFMEU Brisbane Office will be closed from 12 noon, Monday 22nd December 2014 and will reopen on Monday 5th January 2015. ***
Bechtel Curtis Island
FWC has ordered CFMEU to put out the following message. Note that it does not, and cannot apply to protected industrial action. The Fair Work Commission Amended Interim Order requires all industrial action to cease. Members should immediately stop all industrial action and return to work. A copy of the Amended Interim Order is available at the CFMEU Construction and General Division internet site and the CFMEU Construction & General facebook page.
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What are the big things that matter to you?
Our living standards are under more and more pressure, but it doesn't have to be this way. We can build a vision for Australia that puts working people and their families at the centre. We are asking union members and supporters to add their voice by completing the ACTU living standards survey. The survey takes about 15 minutes and what you think really matters because it will decide the type of country we fight for. Click below to start the survey now.