Farmworkers Needed - Australians Not Considered

As a follow up to this topic, it turns out that "poor" farmers can still only be trusted as far as you can throw them: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/11/08/australi...

He said they had tried farms across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, but as soon as employers heard the job seekers were Australian citizens all interest died.

What we’ve been finding is the moment you say you want to get an Aussie a job, the farmer doesn’t want to listen,” he said.
“We did a bit of digging around why, and farmers said ‘one, they’re lazy’, and ‘two, we have to pay them’.

“I’ve applied and been out to farms myself. The moment you say you’re a citizen you don’t get a response whatsoever.”

And before anyone thinks this is a new thing, I've been there, done that. And it's not just the farmers that don't want Aussies. As an Australian I was given a special exemption just to stay in a Queensland working hostel. Australians as a rule were considered "drunks and thieves".

Comments

  • +1 vote

    Define "Australians" please

    •  

      A Southern-cross tatt?
      Drives a Ute, smells of beer cans, swears almost all sentences…

      •  

        swears almost all sentences…
        We found the ****ing foreigner…

    • +2 votes

      Australian citizens.

    • +4 votes

      Can't be deported if they complain about working conditions.

  • +1 vote

    ‘one, they’re lazy’, and ‘two, we have to pay them’

    They have a point. If I were on a farm, I'd be lazy… and you'd have to pay me to be lazy ;)

  • +8 votes

    I do love how Australia's farming system was propped up on taking advantage of backpackers… Classic

    • +3 votes

      probably paid 10 bucks an hour flat rate under the table. assholes need to go to jail.

      •  

        who the farmers for paying 10 ph under the counter or the workers for taking 10 under the counter?

        • +3 votes

          The farmers should know better. Society is counting on our local businesses doing the right thing, not backpackers from all over the world. If their cabbages aren't worth buying if you have to add on legal pay, then they aren't worth growing in the first place.

          • +2 votes

            @AustriaBargain: Yeah, i guess their business model didn't factor in the possibility that their slave labor would dry up.

            Although this is very similar to what's being done all over the world. The Saudi's, Singaporeans etc import Indians and Sri Lankans to fill roles that the locals wouldn't do due to the low wages available. Basically legally importing cheap labor, enabled by the government to keep a "vital" industry going.

      • +8 votes

        They wouldn't be being paid under the table. Backpackers do these jobs so that they can get their third year visas. So it has to be official.

        • +2 votes

          Yep this in a nutshell, the lobbyists wrote it into the visa system so the farmers would have access to cheap labour.

          I guess thats one way of lending a helping hand to farmers.

      •  

        Interesting take. The government takes the choice away from you as employers and employees, and you want to jail people who want that choice back?
        Why does anyone think that the government are better at deciding what to do with your own money than you are?

  • +6 votes

    When was the last time you saw a farmed driving an old bomb? or an ancient tractor? living in a shanty house? wearing torn rags?
    WAGE THEFT is rampant and Aussies wont stand for it that's why they employ back packers
    Farmers exploiting the worker for their own profit

    "AgriAus had more than 1500 applicants for farm work but was unable to secure even one of them a job" <Not one Aussie Not one

    It should be employ an Aussies first, support your country before importing a workforce.
    Even If it means prices have to rise a little as the money they earn stays here and is being spent here

    Time for farmers to drop the slave mentality they have for their workers (those cotton picking days are over)

    https://twitter.com/unionsaustralia/status/13187692958667489...

  •  

    Imagine they paid a half decent wage like $20 - $25 ph they would be flooded with applications . But no they don't like sharing the love .

  • +4 votes

    ‘one, they’re lazy’, and ‘two, we have to pay them’.

    The sheer entitlement from the farmer who said this is astounding.

    •  

      Sure some will be like that but like all businesses they won't last too long and be weeded out and not employed too long .

      •  

        You think our system weeds OUT the greedy business owners? Is it Opposite Day already 🤔

  •  

    I'm not sure why the farming sector is called out here for this.
    There are other industries where workers are paid low wages, with work in poor conditions.

    The farming sector uses overseas workers in a federal government scheme, along with backpackers who want to undertake work in the sector to extend their visa period.
    If the farming sector were to offer high pay / better conditions to workers, those become increased production costs. Unfortunately, we don't have a free market for the sale of the produce, with the vast majority feeding into our duopoly in the supermarket sector. And those guys really screw their suppliers (to keep prices down down, of course).

    If consumers in this country were prepared to pay higher prices, we would still have many industries that have dropped out of our economy, but that isn't how a developed country economy functions.

    •  

      I think it's because the farming sector is openly exploiting these people, i struggle to think of another industry that can as easily get away with paying low wages by claiming so much back in provided accommodation/food costs etc.

      As for the backpackers, i don't feel they "want to undertake work in the sector" given the conditions. I've had friends who couldn't wait for their 3 month roster to be up and get away from it, combination of working conditions and terrible pay made it feel more like a forced labor camp. However on the contrary i've had friends who've worked on cattle stations for 3 months and loved it as they weren't forced into picking fruit for extended periods of time. I think it's the culture that the farmers perpetuate that's the problem.

      As for the federal government scheme, this was set up by lobbyists for the farmers to legally force people (backpackers) to work for them for next to no pay. Pretty genius idea imho, as long as you're not a backpacker.

      •  

        No-one is forcing a backpacker to work picking fruit / harvesting vegetables.
        If a backpacker wants a visa extension, they have options within the "primary" sector that qualify.
        The conditions for the various jobs are what they are, and there are other overseas workers (not just backpackers) willing to do the work.

        I'm not saying it is perfect, or well paid, or a great experience for all. But no-one is being forced to do it. They can walk away any time they want to.

        Meanwhile, those of us lucky to be in other employment can enjoy those avocadoes for $1.58 each https://shop.coles.com.au/a/national/product/fresh-avocado-5...

  •  

    And, topically, this news story today provides an alternate view:
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-07/vanuatu-high-commissi...

  • +1 vote

    This is the ‘$3800 job a week that no Aussie wants to do’.”

    as it turns out

    paid nearly 25 per cent less than minimum wage – just $577 – and that was after he threatened to go to take his case to the Fair Work Ombudsman
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/11/15/farm-wor...

    A fairs days work deserves a fair days pay
    instead they are being rorted like slaves still and its 2020 not the 1800's

    •  

      That is unbelievably atrocious.

      This whole situation reminds me of the American corn industry, its basically a useless broken industry being propped up by government subsidies and falsehood.

      Whereas in this case the government has specifically created a system where backpackers and foreign workers are driven towards these jobs, barely paid, and given a push out the door when their contract is over.

      And this is the foundation a lot of our fruit and vegetable industry is built upon???

    •  

      instead they are being rorted like slaves still and its 2020 not the 1800's

      Call the hyperbole police…
      No-one is forcing anyone to pick fruit. You choose to, or you can choose to take yourself off to school and learn skills that are in demand and thus pay more money. The role of government is not to insure you from your bad life choices.

    •  

      Just an interesting note. The farm in question (Piñata Farms) has a history of blaming overpaid Australian workers even pre-Covid:

      Mr Watt said horticulture workers deserved to be paid overtime if they did more than 38 hours.

      I think to expect people to work more than 38 hours in extremely hot, extremely humid conditions, they probably deserve a bit of a premium for doing so," he said.

      Piñata Farms' Stephen Scurr rejected Mr Watt's argument, saying while it was difficult to get Australians to pick fruit, there was ample access to Pacific Islanders through the Seasonal Worker Programme."

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2020-01-15/horticultural-c...