Working Transnationally: Australian Unions and Temporary Migrant Work

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Oke, Nicole (2010) Working Transnationally: Australian Unions and Temporary Migrant Work. Social Alternatives, 29 (2). pp. 70-75. ISSN 0155-0306


Unions are becoming increasingly transnationally orientated in many respects, both out of self-interest conceived nationally and conceptions of international solidarity. But thinking outside the nation-state is complex, as can be seen in the issues around temporary work migration. Temporary migration has become a significant component of the migration intake in Australia and as such is a significant aspect of the transnational frame for unions. Temporary work visas include the temporary skilled work visa, the s457, the Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme, student visas and working holiday visas. In the national frame debate focuses on the vulnerability of work without permanent residency rights, at least for those undertaking lower paid work. But in the international frame there is currently a focus on the opportunity side of such work as a way to provide jobs and income for individuals from the global South. While unions are wary of temporary migrant work programs, they have shown some increased openness to such programs, at least in the form of the Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme. Such openness is positive, but there is a need to be wary about the downgrading of migrants’ rights through temporary work programs.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > SEO Classification > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Keywords ResPubID21275, Australian Unions, temporary migrant work
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