80 Indian workers duped into debt bondage under skilled workers visa scheme in Australia

Sydney, June 6 (ANI): Hundreds of foreign workers and students have been forced into debt bondage after they paid up to 40,000 dollars for an Australian skilled worker visa.

Some have even signed contracts stating they will be sacked if they engage in trade union activities.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a Fairfax Media investigation revealed that 80 Indian workers were duped into paying 4000 dollars for a cleaning course in Melbourne worth only 1300 dollars after being told that it would enable them to get a working visa.

The investigation revealed that foreign workers were promised long-term work or permanent residency if they paid between 5000 and 40,000 dollars to middlemen across the nation.

The rorting of the visas schemes and exploiting of foreign workers has been labelled a national shame by ACTU secretary Dave Oliver and involves numerous companies operating across Australia often under the noses of authorities, the report said.

The documents revealed that Filipino workers paid up to 14,000 dollars to placement agencies and some paying interest rates of more than 45 percent.

Other documents showed that Filipino workers directing a third of their 50,000 dollars annual income to pay off high-interest loans. (ANI)

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