The Australian Workers Union has accused a Danish company of trafficking Filipino employees to work on Western Australia’s North West Shelf gas project.
The AWU says the workers are carrying out painting and maintenance work on one of shipping company Maersk’s oil rig vessels for less than $3 an hour.
The union’s Scott McDine says delegates have also found the workers have not been officially recognised by Australian authorities.
“They were shocked to see these workers do not have their presence in Australia stamped into their passports, even though they come in and out of Australian waters,” he said.
“They are being trafficked; if they don’t exist as far as Australian passport authorities are concerned, it is extremely easy to mistreat them.”
Mr McDine says the Government needs to take action.
“We want to see them shut down the rorters and deliver a fair, transparent guest worker program,” he said.
“The AWU/MUA Offshore Alliance was approached by the Filipino workers, many of whom are scared of retribution against them and their families back in the Philippines and they were quite simply asking for the union to protect them and provide them with support.”
Both Maersk and the Immigration Department have been contacted for comment.