Filipino workers mistreated by John Holland

January 17, 2009

Six Filipino workers were sacked in December without reason by the John Holland Group from a major Queensland construction project.

The six Filipinos had paid thousands of dollars to an immigration agent in Manila for jobs in Australia. They were sponsored under the Australian 457 temporary visa program for foreign workers by the John Holland Group for a four year contract. However, they have now been sacked after only two years.

A number of the workers worked 10 hours a day, sometimes seven days a week without overtime rates. They were paid substantially less than market rates of pay for the work they performed. They are now destitute and homeless.

The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) is helping the workers, providing them with shelter in their union complex in Lidcombe in western Sydney. The CFMEU is supporting a campaign for compensation for these sacked workers.

Two of their workmates from the Philippines, Rey Garcia Jardinel and Antonio Julio Guerrero Pili, were killed on the project. In the same accident, six other workers were injured.

John Holland Group has no respect for workers' rights. They forced the Filipino workers onto unfair individual contracts.

We are also campaigning with the CFMEU to assist the widows of the two Filipino workers employed by the John Holland Group.

Safety on John Holland Group sites is a disgrace. Multinational companies like John Holland should treat all workers, including temporary overseas workers, with dignity. We urge you to support our campaign for workers' rights and justice.

[Based on a statement issued by the Filipino Workers Rights Campaign. Readers can donate to the CFMEU-Filipino Workers Appeal by credit card - phone (02) 9749 0400, cheque - mail to 10 Railway St, Lidcombe NSW 2141, or online at]

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