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Unions call for tougher 457 rules

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There has been a lot of talk and debate about the 457 visa in recent weeks with there being growing concern about how the visa is being used to bring in foreign workers. Whilst reforms are taking place about the visa, more people are calling for tighter measures with the Transport Workers Union leading the charge.

Whilst some unions have called for the visa to be eradicated, the TWU has maintained a different stance calling for the visa’s criteria to be reformed further by the government. The union believe that by punishing the companies who have broken the law before, it will mean that only legitimate firms can hire foreign workers to complete the necessary tasks.

It would mean that offending companies would be slapped with a 12 month ban from hiring anyone on a foreign visa whether it’s permanent or temporary. The TWU also believed that positions should be opened up further for domestic residents to apply for in a bid to try and stop the 457 from becoming a farcical migration topic.

There isn’t much surprise around the TWU coming to the support of the 457 with several of the union’s representative having been popular users of the visas in the past. On top of that, it was revealed that 3 major positions within the union had been filled by 457 workers in the past month further consolidating their defensive position on the visa.

However, many industry experts in the field has said that whilst the TWU’ base ideals were correct; they still didn’t truly understand Australia’s base values. This was reflected further by the Australian Mines and Metals Association executive officer of industry Scott Barklamb who told The Australian that “Unlike the union, however, we believe Australia should be an open, globally engaged society”

The call comes following plans by the government to clamp down on the number of migrants entering Australia on the 457 skilled migrant visa. The government has announced that they would be looking to tighten the controls on the visa saying that there will be much stricter conditions and criteria foreign workers would have to meet including on their experience and direct skills.

Whilst the debate will linger on the state of the 457 over the next few months, it will be important to make sure that both applicants and their sponsors remember to use the visa responsibly to avoid adding any more controversy or drama to the ongoing situation.
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