Unions demand action against rogue labour hire operators

A PUBLIC register of labour hire companies employing temporary overseas workers should be created to prevent worker exploitation, unions have urged.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions wants the Senate inquiry examining the 417 and 457 visa programs to recommend the register.

As the inquiry draws to a close with a report due next month, the union peak body is also agitating for rogue operators to be banned from the labour hire business.

ACTU president Ged Kearney said some rogue labour hire firms simply changed their name and phone number and started again after things went wrong.

While many legitimate labour hire firms operate with visa holders, the unions say they are worried about "pop-up operators with nothing more than a van and a phone".

"This is not how most businesses in Australia operate," Ms Kearney said.

She demanded the "curtain" be pulled on the labour hire firms, which she said operated without proper checks and balances.

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