Letter from a Transport Worker


19 May 2014

To whom it may concern,

Scott Morrison and the Abbott Government need to consider the points below when reviewing 457 visas.


Australia is currently experiencing high rates of unemployment. Bringing in overseas workers will not help to alleviate this problem. Youth unemployment in some pockets is extremely high. The chances of younger workers getting a job will diminish with 457 workers being brought in.

Less than full hours

A substantial number of Australian workers are working less than full hours as it is. That is, they are working fewer hours than what a full time worker should be receiving. Reduced hours cannot be resolved if we relax the 457 visa status. Also, casualisation of our workforce across all industries is having a detrimental effect on our jobs.

Working until we are older

The Abbott Government has indicated that they would like us to work longer. Expanding the 457 program will have an impact on this decision, as there will be fewer jobs. Employers are generally reluctant to give older workers an opportunity anyway, and this will be even worse if younger overseas workers flood into our jobs market.

Workplace health and safety

Every day workers are still dying in this country. These workers are generally trained and have a command of the English language. What chance does an overseas worker have when they are exposed without proper induction and safety training?

Confidence to speak up

How can workers from overseas expect to be treated with dignity and respect? Aussie workers struggle to achieve good conditions, and they mostly have an understanding of unions, training, etc. If overseas workers don’t have the confidence or knowledge to attain their rights, they will be exploited.

Training and skills

Will these workers receive the full and proper training to complete their tasks? Who is going to ensure these workers receive the correct education to do their jobs?

Transport employers

The Australian Trucking Association should be looking to enhance our industry locally, not looking overseas for workers. Transport is a dangerous job; overseas workers will not help to resolve this problem.

Aussie workers deserve Aussie rights.



A Transport Worker and union delegate

Greystanes, NSW



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