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Union hounds Hanson over 457 visa plan

Queensland TWU accuses construction company of trying to import foreign labour at the expense of local workforce

July 24, 2013

Construction company Hanson is facing a union backlash in Queensland over claims it is planning to bring in foreign workers on 457 visas.

The Queensland branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has accused the company of wanting to employ workers from overseas at the expense of local drivers.

State Secretary Peter Biagini says Hanson has applied to the Department of Immigration to import 170 workers a year over the next three years.

“Hanson has shown their true colours in the way they have applied to the Immigration Department to fill these positions, without asking locals first,” Biagini says.

“Hanson have just ordered 18 new trucks and before they’re even delivered they are seeking to bring in foreign workers to fill the positions on lower wages.

“Why can’t these companies ask the locals first – and after that if they can’t fill the positions, seek foreign help.”

The TWU is also fuming over what it says is Hanson’s refusal to renegotiate an expired enterprise agreement covering agitator drivers.

“Using imported labour is an attempt by Hanson to undermine the right of their workforce to collectively bargain and undercut the future of the industry,” Biagini says.

ATN contacted Hanson for comment but did not receive a response before deadline.

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