Australia: meat workers stood down, migrants cast adrift
Meat companies are increasingly employing migrant workers on temporary work visas to fill job vacancies in the seasonal Australian lamb processing sector.
This week JBS Australia stood down 260 staff and Fletchers International closed its Dubbo plant for a week. Employers blamed a dry spring in 2014 but the IUF affiliate AMIEU says there are international trading factors at play and has warned of further cutbacks. When lines and plants close due to supply and demand factors migrant workers are particularly hard hit.
AMIEU Secretary Graham Smith called for better protection and security for migrant workers.
A recent television documentary in Australia has provoked a major controversy over the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers on temporary visas working in the poultry and horticulture industries.