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‘Brain fart’: Government’s ‘exploitative’ push to get young Aussies picking fruit slammed

The Australian Workers’ Union has hit back at the federal government’s call to send young Australians to pick fruit and vegetables, and fill the void in regional Australia.

The government’s plan is to incentivise farm work for young Australians on welfare who are struggling to find work in the pandemic.

The AWU’s Daniel Walton told Jim Wilson it was nonsense: workers would be paid below the award and it was another form of “cheap and exploitative labour”.

“It’s a complete brain fart, [a] moronic idea, and the government should be called out on it,” he said.

“Why are we going to subscribe to this view, which says our fruit and veggies can only be picked by people who are prepared to be exploited and paid less than the award rate?

“Instead of trying to fix it … we are going for another cheap and temporary fix to make sure the industry continues to be rife with exploitation.”

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