Deathly Working Conditions

On the topic of job seeking in Australia, there are two news articles headlined in The Age newspaper’s website that are of particular interest to any Filipino planning to work as a skilled worker in Australia.

Here are the links to the articles:
Death in the Outback
Foreign Workers ‘Enslaved’

The two articles basically refer to the story of Pedro Balading, a Filipino with a 457 working visa, who was hired for a job in the Australian outback. He had a university degree and was promised work as a supervisor in a farm here in Oz. When he got here, he was forced to do menial and dangerous work instead. He was allegedly discriminated against and verbally abused by his Aussie coworkers at the farm. Three months later, he fell dead on a dirt track in the outback.

To quote the article, Death in the Outback:

Together the deaths represent a disturbing pattern of exploitation and coverup. These three men – Filipinos Pedro Balading and Wilfredo Navales and Chinese man Guo Jian-Dong – were brought to Australia on a skilled migration scheme but made to do work that was unskilled or dangerous, or both.

They were harassed in the workplace and died in incidents that contravened occupational health and safety rules. Their families have been left without income or information, or any real idea how to apply for their entitlements.

Now, I’m not saying that all working conditions for migrants in Australia are as bad as what was depicted in the two articles. However, I just want to remind you, if you are interested in working here, to be extra vigilant. Don’t be lulled into thinking that working in Australia is without any risks. Do your homework and do not let yourself be abused. I strongly urge you to read the two articles in its entirety to get some ideas of what to watch out for.

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm  Comments (2)