Open letter: Call to end exploitation of migrant workers

A coalition of concerned community legal centres and civil society organisations have written an open letter calling on governments to make pre-election commitments to end the exploitation of migrant workers.    

The letter builds on the findings of a March 2022 senate committee report, which highlighted the "deliberate and systemic" exploitation of migrant workers in Australian workplaces, and made significant recommendations for reform.

Signatories to the open letter are employment law specialists and organisations that support migrant workers, who see first-hand the systemic barriers that enable the exploitation of temporary visa holders and the culture of silence fuelled by visa concerns.

The coalition of organisations is seeking three core pre-election commitments from governments to address wage theft and end the exploitation of migrant workers by:

  1. strengthening visa protections to empower migrant workers to speak out against exploitative employers
  2. providing fast-tracked pathways for exploited workers to recover unpaid wages through the courts
  3. offering equal protections to all workers under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee​

 

List of signatories:

1. Circle Green Community Legal

2. Community Legal Centres NSW

3. Employment Rights Legal Service

4. Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria

5. Inner City Legal Centre

6. JobWatch Inc

7. Kingsford Legal Centre

8. Migrant Workers Centre

9. Migrant Justice Institute

10. Redfern Legal Centre

11. Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre Inc.

12. South-East Monash Legal Service Inc.

13. Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

14. WEstjustice

Download the open letter below