Exploited workers threatened with deportation

EXPLOITED seasonal workers from Fiji must return to work for the company accused of ripping them off or go home.

The ABC on Sunday reported the workers, who were paid less than $10 a week, had been ordered to go back to AFS Contracting in Victoria's north or leave the country. AFS sponsored their temporary visas to come to Australia and has remained tight-lipped about the claims.

Officials from the Employment Department and the Immigration Department told the workers they did not have long to choose, the ABC reported.

"They are pushing us to go back home," worker Merewairita Sovasiga said.

"Every one of us is not happy. We are going back home with nothing."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was looking into the workers' complaints.

"The Australian Government regularly engages all Seasonal Worker Program participating countries on matters relating to their nation's workers, including with Fiji on the allegations in this matter," DFAT said.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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