Supermarkets must recognise labour hire disgrace


Regulation and licensing of labour hire firms is the first step in ending the slave worker market engulfing Australia’s food supply chain, Queensland unions say.

Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams called on federal and state authorities to act decisively after disturbing claims of slavery, exploitation and abuse made on an ABC 4 Corners report last night.

The National Union of Workers was instrumental in exposing these outrageous practices.

Bundaberg featured prominently in the report, with claims of abuse and underpayment by farm owners and labour hire firms.

“It’s time for the Federal Government to monitor and regulate the entire temporary visa and labour hire system. The rogue operators need to be stamped out,” Mr Battams said.

He also called on major supermarkets to ensure their food supply chains used legitimate labour practices.

“Queenslanders love to know their food has been grown, picked and packed locally, but not at the expense of basic working rights,” he said.

“The 4 Corners report outlines some disturbing instances of exploitation, bullying and sexual harassment. It shouldn’t be tolerated in any civilized country, and certainly not in Queensland.”

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