LHMU NEWS, 1 November 2006Four Canberra restaurants have been banned from using the controversial 457 Visa program to bring in skilled migrants to work in their kitchens following a year long campaign by the LHMU Hospitality Union.
The Immigration Department’s decision to impose a three year ban vindicates the LHMU Hospitality Union and the Filipino workers’ claims of gross exploitation and underpayment, the LHMU ACT’s David Bibo said.
Pangaea Restaurant and Bar, Zefferellis and Holy Grail were banned for three years, while Milk and Honey received a two year ban for mistreating migrant workers under the Government’s 457 visa program.
“These workers are still waiting for a decision from the Federal Magistrates Court against Pangea and Zeffirelli,” David Bibo said. “Meanwhile it has just been announced that The Holy Grail Restaurant and Bar is to face prosecution in the Federal Magistrates Court for recovery of wages amounting to a total over $70,000 for several employees, including two of the Filipino 457 visa holders.”
“A lot of effort and a lot of push, and indeed a lot of publicity to ensure justice has been provided to these workers by fellow union members, they had to have guts and a sense of hope that if they acted together they would win. And the victory - it seems - is now just around the corner. We will watch carefully to see that the 250 odd thousand dollars that has been identified as being outstanding to Canberra's hospitality workers will actually be fully repaid. The Federal Government has known about this problem since the end of 2005 and refused to act - only because the union campaigned about these 457 visa workers being exploited did we see change. The Government looked the other way knowing that these 457 visa workers were being used to impose downward pressures on Australian workers wages,” David Bibo said.
17 October 2006
Cleaners, religious leaders and other members of the community joined forces in Brisbane at Queens Gardens to voice their fight against poverty on International Anti-Poverty Day.
They turned up the pressure on the property industry and cleaning contractors, as part of nationwide Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners demonstrations, handing out flyers and chanting 'Hey Brisbane .. listen up! The cleaners are standing up!'.
Guest speakers included Ron Monaghan of the LHMU Cleaners Union, Vicki Hughes, an active LHMU member, Ovidio Orellana of the Australians in Solidarity with Latin America (ASLA) community group and Tony Robertson, a project officer with St Mary's Catholic Church.
Fair Deal for Cleaners union-community campaign had placed a full page advertisement in the Australian Financial Review. The advert was endorsed by every Premier and Chief Minister across Australia, along with senior faith-based, welfare and ethnic community representatives. The signatories are: • Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister, ACT • Morris Iemma, Premier, NSW • Clare Martin, Chief Minister, NT • Peter Beattie, Premier, Queensland • Mike Rann, Premier, South Australia • Paul Lennon, Premier, Tasmania • Steve Bracks, Premier, Victoria • Alan Carpenter, Premier, Western Australia • Clover Moore MP, Lord Mayor of Sydney • Bruce Hucker, Deputy Mayor, Auckland • Cr David Hinchliffe, Deputy Mayor, Brisbane City Council • Sharan Burrow, President, ACTU • John Ryall, National Secretary, SFWU NGA RINGA TOTA (NZ) • Greg Combet, Secretary, ACTU • Ross Wilson, President, NZCTU KAUAE KAIMAHI • Andy Stern, President, SEIU (NORTH AMERICA) • Henk Van Der Kolk, President FNV Bondgenoten (Netherlands) • Jack Dromey, Deputy General Secretary, T&G (UK) • Alan Jones, Broadcaster • Ms Lien Nguyen-Navas, OAM • Rev Dr Kent, NT Council of Churches • Rev Gorji Mitrev, “St. Kliment Ohridski”- Canberra • Rev Rada Mitrev, “St Ilij” - Queanbeyan • Rev Elenie Poulos, UnitingJustice Australia • Social Justice Commission Uniting Church, WA • John Harrower, Anglican Bishop of Tasmania • Anglican Refugee and Migrant Services (QLD) • Anglican Social Responsibilities Commission, WA • Kevin Manning, Catholic Bishop of Parramatta • Patrick Power, Auxiliary Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn • Bishop Saunders, Chair, Catholic Social Justice Council • David Knoll, President, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies • National Council of Women NZ • Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (VIC) • Western Australia Council of Social Service • Council Of Social Service of NSW • Tasmanian Council of Social Service • Mark Ley, Welfare Rights Centre of SA • Michael Raper, President, National Welfare Rights Network • Ethnic Communities Council of WA • Mrs Aziza Abdel-Halim, President, Muslim Women's National Network Australia • Migrante Melbourne • Jack Passaris, Chair, Ethnic Communities Council of NSW • Korean Resource Centre • Asian Women At Work • Solidarity Philippines Australia Network