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Issue #1550      6 June 2012

Importing workers driven by greed

CPA statement

The Communist Party has condemned the decision by the federal government to allow Gina Rinehart to import 1,700 foreign workers to develop the multi-billion dollar Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia.

“The decision is particularly offensive to working people given the recent spate of large scale layoffs from Australian workplaces,” CPA President Vinnie Molina said.

“Despite the fictitious government figures on unemployment, there is a growing alarm at the rate of joblessness in the country that is met with a lack of interest on the part of the government to ensure that Australians are trained to fill positions in the resource sector. TAFE is under attack and there is no obligation placed on profit-gorged mining corporations to train local workers.”

“These facts render worthless assurances from the Prime Minister that local workers should be taken on first. Everybody knows big mining companies are seeking to boost their profits to even greater heights by cutting their wages bill. If unions and the community don’t put their foot down the next phase in the evolution of these Enterprise Migration Agreements will be the employment of workforces at rates way below the established rate in Australia. This is the plan from the boardrooms - to divide and conquer workers and to drive their pay and conditions down. We therefore call on workers, their trade unions and the community to fight and overturn this reactionary decision.

“We don’t support jingoism. The CPA is taking a stand for workers to be able to defend their legitimate interests against massive attacks from reckless transnationals. Foreign workers should be welcomed to fill genuine skills shortages and their ongoing needs met. Their situation should not be exploited to further the ambitions of people whose wealth is a scandalous obscenity. Ultimately, the welfare of workers and the environment can only be ensured by putting the country’s resources into public ownership by a government with a much more enlightened agenda. After all, these resources belong to the people, not to certain privileged individuals,” Mr Molina said.  

Next article – Coal seam gas bubbling up through Condamine River

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