Oct 2018 | 'We have the same rights': Exploited migrant workers win big payouts

Date: 14 Oct 2018

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 

Migrant farm workers from Vanuatu have won a significant financial settlement after a landmark legal claim that used new laws designed to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation.

In May, Fairfax Media revealed 50 workers from Vanuatu had worked in shocking conditions on a farm near Shepparton, and had earned as little as $8 an hour.

Some workers reported bleeding from the nose and ears after chemical exposure while picking tomatoes at the farm.

Five of those workers took the initial legal action against Brisbane-based Agri Labour Australia and have now settled for a combined $150,000.

That’s more than twice the amount they had alleged they were underpaid during their four months work at the MCG Fresh Produce farm, west of Shepparton.