As a former member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) it has been an indignant affront to be associated with a political party which has re-introduced the indentured labour scheme from the South Pacific so as to work on plantations within Australia.
It is the delivery of the message which seems to be incumbent upon the political propagandist, as in this instance, the ABC report on Pacific Islander workers scheme was presented carefully so as to do ‘no harm’ to Australian race relations with the Pacific region. However, as it turns out, the reality of it all is in fact the grievous racial harm done, as the result of such a workplace arrangement that specifies are particular ethnic groups of persons, is the stigmatisation of the Pacific Islander within Australian society and a detrimental affect and effect with the Pacific Islander race relations. The Pacific Islander workers scheme has legitimised the second class labour market, insodoing, re-affirming the servile races dictum for most post-colonial supremacists ideologies, which is still being flippantly institutionalised throughout our Australian society today. Much more pragmatical still is the will by certain elements bigoted elements of my Australian community in institutionalising the purported delusions of racial servility of certain ethnic groups within the workforce in that, in turn, would circumvent the minimum work conditions for most non-white Australians whom are actively engaged within the labour force and are protected under the Fair Work Australia working conditions. Alas, as for the second class citizen such as most Pacific Islanders coming to Australia from the South Pacific. via, working visas, arranged by their employers and employment agencies, ala, people smugglers to re-introduce blackbirds for Australian plantations, this disconcertingly industrial relations bigotry has gone under the radar by the predominately white mainstream media whom have focused their attention instead upon illegal boat people coming from the North via Indonesia.
The local situation, there is a fair number of Australian citizens of Pacific Islander extraction within the Logan City area. Within this group there are a fair number of this ethnic group actively engaged in employment within the labour market. all the while, there is a fair proportion, moreso than the Australian Bureau of Statistics data of Pacific Islander population within the area, whom are not within gainful employment. Moreover, there is a disproportionately higher level of unemployed Pacific Islanders within Logan City compared to the mainstream white Anglo-Celtic Australian population. Most of this population are surviving on welfare from Centrelink. Whilst not engaging in full time employment some have had to actively participate in work for the dole schemes so as to maintain regular payments from Centrelink. However, this is vocationally focused and not to proffer an underemployed underclass of indentured workforce that are Pacific Islander people. As statistics seem to indicate, the disproportionate number of underemployment amongst the Pacific Islander population is higher and it is relatively equal to the indigenous persons unemployment rate. This seems to justify the notion that most employers will not employ outside of their racial groups and that prejudice and bigotry is very much entrenched within Australian society.
However, either through a lack of structural efficiency mechanisms within our job placement agencies, or, there is structural-functional damage within our industrial relations structures, which has kept certain geo-demographic and ethnic concentrated enclaves perpetually unemployed, or underemployed. In the meantime, the higher levels of workers rights protection and minimum wages conditions has undermined the locally derived employment sources in order for farmers to employ workers locally. This employment sourcing impasse has been resolved somewhat, through this contentiously vexed scheme of re-introducing non-Australian Pacific Islander workers in order to resolve this employment demand vacuum, all the while, undermining the ‘domestic’ industrial relations minimum conditions, as is considered, by farmers and employers, as too stringent workers protection conditions, as per, the demands set out under The Fairwork Australia industrial laws.
Fa’afetai mo le faitau
Logan City, Brisbane
28th November 2011