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Working for $9 hour

Labour is vital to the Australian horticulture industry. Seasonal variation and the transient nature of the work makes the farmworker population difficult to measure. It is estimated that approximately 142,000 people work in the horticulture industry. Fruit grape and nut farms employ around 104,000 workers and vegetable farms employ 38,000 workers.
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Young, free and living precariously

There has been significant media reporting and public commentary on the impact on young people of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic recession. However, there is limited empirical research into the experiences of young people during the height of the 2020 pandemic. This discussion paper is the result of a survey of over 300 respondents conducted during the final months of 2020.
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24-hour childcare and tradie toll relief needed in State Budget

A new report finds tradies and shift workers were the state’s forgotten people during COVID and recommends a trial of 24-hour day care and toll relief to help our blue, pink and fluoro-collared workforce. The McKell Institute research for Unions NSW will be presented to Treasurer Dominic Perrottet as a State Budget option paper. It finds many of the workers in question suffered greatly reduced incomes and work hours at the height of the pandemic, all while facing a higher degree of exposure to COVID.
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Inquiry into Job Security

The industrial environment in Australia over recent decades has seen increases in productivity and flexibility with the majority of benefits geared towards business. Flexibility has manifested as increasing levels of casualisation, part-time work, short-term contracts and the use of independent contractors, all inherently insecure and precarious forms of work.
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Wage Theft: Horticulture report

At time of writing migration to Australia is at an all-timelow. Many nations have begun their roll out of vaccines for the COVID-19 virus however the pandemic still poses a serious threat to lives and economies. To limit the spread of the virus in Australia the federal government has continued its restriction on international arrivals and particularly its halt on immigration to Australia.
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Wage Theft: Lighting up the Black Market

In some sections of the workforce underpayment of wages has become routine. Employers are unashamedly advertising below Award rates for vacant positions. This seedy underbelly of exploitation and wage theft has been exposed through high profile examples of migrant worker exploitation. Workers have been threatened against making complaints, with employers taking advantage of workers who have poor English, are on temporary work visas and are young.
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Wage Theft: the Shadow Market

The exploitation of temporary migrant workers in Australia is a common and known problem that appears to be endemic throughout Australian workplaces. This exploitation persists despite numerous government inquiries,¹ legislative reforms and in 2019, the establishment of The Migrant Workers’ Taskforce whose recommendations are yet to be implemented.
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NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry

This submission will provide an overview of union concerns in relation to the 2019-20 NSW bushfires, and make several recommendations with respect to primarily industrial concerns. The submission will be structured around the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry. For the purposes of this submission, “Bushfires” will refer to the bushfires in NSW over the devastating 2019-20 season which are the subject of the Inquiry.
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Visa Assist Annual Report 2020

Visa Assist is a partnership between Unions NSW and the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC), designed to advocate for and advise union members with immigration matters.
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No Worker Left Behind - Survey Results 2020

Unions NSW’s survey is the first large-scale data set regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related govern-ment economic and social restrictions, upon temporary migrants. Temporary migrants have been particularly impact-ed because of the reluctance of the Australian government to extend access to its JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes to visa holders.
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