Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Redefining the minimum

What are the economic consequences of having hundreds of thousands of international students in Australia? According to a report in The Age, minimum wage rates are not being respected:

NEARLY 60% of international students in Victoria could be receiving below minimum wage rates, a study by Monash and Melbourne university academics has revealed.

Interviews with 200 international students drawn from nine universities across Victoria revealed that up to 58.1% of students surveyed were paid below $15 an hour, with 33.9% receiving less than $10 an hour.

Does this have an effect on the working conditions of the wider labour force? The researchers found the answer to be yes:

The influx of international students working outside industrial relations controls adversely affects overall conditions in the workforce.

And is the Rudd Labor Government concerned by a workforce numbering in the hundreds of thousands working below minimum wage rates? Apparently not:

"The Rudd Government has shown no sign of recognising this as an issue," Professor Nyland said.

(For those interested in immigration related matters there is a new Australian website here.)

1 comment:

  1. I think its hard to undermine working conditions at the moment. With unemployment rates so low most workplaces are starved of good workers.

    Having said that, the exploitation of international students is wrong.