MWC Newsletter: June, 2019

Date: 2 July 2019

RMIT Security Guards Call Out Discrimination

Migrant Workers Centre supports security guards at protest

Source: Migrant Workers Centre


After nine years of service with spotless records, security guards at RMIT University face losing their permanent jobs. All are of South Asian backgrounds.

When RMIT, a premiere Australian university where a significant proportion of international students are from India, decided to switch contracts, the hard-working guards were not consulted. When incoming Wilson Security discriminated against and tried to force them out, the guards stood up in defiance and said “No!” to racism and discrimination.

Supported by Melbourne-based Migrant Workers Centre (MWC) and trade union United Voice Victoria, the affected security guards are fighting for their permanent jobs back and demanding the bosses to sit down at the negotiating table.

On 28 June 2019, they marched with some 100 unions and supporters outside RMIT’s city campus chanting “RMIT listen up! Security guards are standing up!”. Later that day, many Indian students showed their solidarity by demanding the bosses to stop racist hiring practices and give the guards their jobs back.

A Megaphone petition was started in support of workers’ fight for respect and fairness.

RMIT Indian students in solidarity with workers and urge the university to stop racism.

Source: Migrant Workers Centre

 

Migrant Chef Threatened by Boss to Work for Free in Exchange for Visa Sponsorship

 

Carina Garland, Assistant Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, gives comments

Source: SBS

 

A Gold Coast restaurant failed to pay a chef from India for eight months and threatened to revoke visa sponsorship to the worker when asked to pay up.

37-year-old Karnvir Singh had been working at the Indian restaurant for over three years and claimed an underpayment of over $25,000.

“I had my (visa) application with the Immigration Department from his restaurant, he said if I am going to ask him more and more about wages he is going to withdraw my (sponsorship) nomination,” Singh said.

Carina Garland, Assistant Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council, said migrant don’t often seek help because fear of losing their visa and warned exploitation could come from anywhere.

“People don’t speak up because they don’t have faith that the system will support them, or they are afraid that they will be sent back home when all they are doing is speaking up about being mistreated at work,” noted Garland in an interview with SBS.

Mr Singh was deeply disappointed that the boss he trusted was from his own country: “It is very shameful to say that it is done by my own countryman. It is very embarrassing.”

 

For inquiries, please contact the Migrant Workers Centre on mwc@vthc.org.au or Sam Jiayi Liu, Media and Communications Officer, on jliu@vthc.org.au

2 July 2019