June 2018 | 'Bonded like a slave': Workplace watchdog investigation into labour exploitation reveals poor conditions

Date: 27 June 2018

Source: ABC

A three-year investigation into worker exploitation by Australia's workplace watchdog has found some foreign workers on Australian farms are "bonded like slaves" to dodgy labour hire contractors.

The nation's multibillion dollar fruit and vegetable sector has been under intense scrutiny in recent years, following revelations of poor working and pay conditions for some farm workers, who are often from overseas.

The Fair Work Ombudsman's (FWO) Harvest Trail Inquiry report will be released later in the year, but the ABC can reveal some of the report highlights presented to growers at a recent horticulture gathering in Brisbane.

Jennifer Crook, assistant director in the compliance and enforcement branch of the FWO a leader in the watchdog's regional services team, said the investigation had been confronting.