A group of Hungarian men brought to Australia on temporary visas to work as highly skilled technicians have instead been used as labourers on a western Sydney warehouse, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 20 workers said they were promised Australian rates of pay, of around $30 an hour. Instead for the last four months they have been paid around $15 an hour to help build the warehouse, in Sydney’s Eastern Creek.
The men were working as riggers building steel structures, forklift drivers and general labourers – and not as the mechanical engineering technicians their 457 visas specified they were to work as.
The Sydney Morning Herald said, none of the men have qualifications or experience as mechanical engineering technicians. The underpayment and visa rorting allegations were raised on Saturday. Soon after, it is alleged the Austrian company employing the men requested those who had complained to get on a plane to Hungary. Three of the 20 men returned home then, but 17 remain. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union is representing the men now. It argues the case is the latest highlighting the use of controversial 457 visas by unscrupulous employers.
The Sydney Morning Herald said, the case is being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman. A spokesman for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the department had this week commenced an investigation into the matter. The workers were brought in by Austrian company Assmont, and their visas approved by a Department of Immigration case officer based in Vienna.
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