[CPVW protectVietworkers.com 08/5/2013] In its Submission lodged yesterday with the Senate Inquiry into Australia’s “Class 457” visas for overseas workers, CPVW provided evidence of unethical and illegal activities of Vietnam’s state-owned recruiment agencies, and made recommendations to prevent abuses and to empower workers.

RECOMMENDATIONS

CPVW recommended to the Inquiry by the Senate Legislation & Constitutional Affairs Standing Committee that:

  • employers be required to fully reimburse workers all amounts recruitment agencies charge workers. 
  • if 457-visa workers lose their job because they speak up about recruitment agencies’ or employers’ wrongs, they should be given time to find alternative employment
  • soon after arrival in Australia, induct 457-visa workers with information on their rights under Australian laws, including in their own language
  • also show them how to exercise their rights, to turn the above information into actionable knowledge
  • unions be allowed access to workers for the above purposes
  • there be a presumption against an employer if, within a short time before seeking 457 visas, it had laid off staff, or restructured resuting in vacancies

VIETNAM’S STATE-OWNED RECUITMENT AGENCIES: UNETHICAL, EVEN CRIMINAL

Most of Vietnam’s recuitment agencies are owned by ministries, party officials, or their associates. Many confiscate workers’ passports, a tactic amounting to the human-trafficking crime.

Many also engage in unethical and sometimes illegal conduct. CPVW’s Submission contains copies from a contract with Vilexim (owned by Vietnam’s Industry & Commerce Ministry) which tells exported workers that they must not strike or join local unions. It even forbids workers to marry locals, or engage in a relationship with anyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

CPVW is a member of Viet Labor, an alliance of labor-rights groups in and outside of Vietnam. Our protectVietworkers.com is in English, the baovelaodong.com and laodongViet.org are mostly in Vietnamese.

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