Monday, January 16, 2006

Migrants: 'they steal all our jobs'

I have always thought how silly that argument is but being with Mr T i've had an even closer look at the crappy jobs that migrants face.

Sorry some migrants. White migrants seem to be ok. My English, South African(white) and American friends do ok.

Mr T is currently working in a sales job. But it gets worse it's a commission only job. Sounds ok, but when commissions are hard to get you are left working for NO money. NONE!

Not just regular hours either 8 til 6 at least (2 hrs more than the norm).

But surely there are others right?

According to Mr T if you work in a restaurant in china town or in a shop in a food court you can earn:

$7 per hour

Yes loads of money.

And great conditions too, the majority of the employment opportunities available for him are illegal and others pay little and also no sick leave, annual leave or any other benefits.

There was a also a massage one, one of those of ones in a shopping mall where you got half of what they charge you for a massage. Sound not too bad right?

Again it is illegal, and when you charge $5 for a neck massage, you are lucky to get $50 a day.

What about professionals?

There was one accountant one that payed $5.50 per hour.

Another friend of mine has a masters degree and also worked in a commission only sales job for a year before he could get more work.

Another worked pretty high up in the corporate world overseas only to find work in a supermarket.

And a professor friend of mine works as a cleaner.

These are not rare. There are plenty of stories out there like that. Think you taxi driver is un-educated and 'unskilled' think again!

Mr T is hoping to get a job at 711 where he can deal with drunken idiots, night shifts, possibly be held up, and all of crap (actually accordingly to reports pissing is pretty common in 711s) and for a great wage:

If he is lucky $14 per hour, although some pay between ($7-10 per hour)

Yes migrants take all the great jobs. I only wish I could be exploited like that.


This post come after two things.

One, seeing the cycle of hope-disappointment for Mr T in applying for jobs.

Two, over hearing a conversation with my colleagues about how Asians waste money, and how they all work in great high paying jobs and blah blah.


jlp said...

Could it be the crappy job market in Melbourne? I have a cousin who moved to Sydney from the Philippines, and she seems to be doing quite alright for herself as an accountant.

kristy said...

accountants seem to be fine perhaps because there are not enough at the moment

doctors are alos fine because of doctor shortage

but unless you have qualifications in that shortage area you are in trouble.

claire said...

poor toby, that sucks. and job hunting is usually an unpleasant experience as it is, but when the few responses you get are for underpaid or illegal work I can imagine the experience would be much more frustrating.

I'll let you guys know if anything comes up at jb!

jlp said...

In that case, it sounds like a problem he'd have anywhere else, and not necessarily because of his race. I don't know what kind of qualifications Mr. T has, but if he's educated in liberal arts, as I suspect, it's always going to be tough to find work. Take it from a literature major. Not to take away from your point that "they steal our jobs" is a really stupid claim... Anyway, he really only just moved there, so I hope it's just a matter of time before he settles in and finds some extraordinary opportunity.

kristy said...

I like you have horrible qualifiations well until i finish my masters and have worked in crappola after crappola jobs.

However, my crappola job is paid decent well compared to his, i always though it was not so well paid but now i'm changing my perspective. It also legal, and includes annual leave, sick leave etc.

My job anyone can do, well almost.

Yet it like many others that i've worked in are predominately white.

Having worked in temp job to temp job i've across to realise there are two levels of jobs. Those like mine which are unskilled but have some what fair conditions and all the illegal unfair and undepaid ones.

When I come back from HK I was still unskilled (well in their eyes) but i had interviews all over the place for unskilled jobs. All of which paid at least $16au dollars per hour.

All the ones which will pay him a second of their time pay $6-7 per dollars and are illegal.

NO ONE will offer him a legal job (despite his valid visa to work) except for the sales one in which case it is commission only.

I've also worked in sales before and on top of comission got all the benefits plus $15 per hour.

jlp said...

OK, then clearly I have no idea what kind of racist crap goes on in Australia. It's not like he has an intimidatingly Chinese name that would prompt people to worry about sponsoring his visa. Why wouldn't a potential employer think that he was born and raised in Australia upon first glance at his resume? Toby. That's a familiar enough name. And I assume, since he's from Hong Kong, his English is native level. So communication shouldn't be a problem. Are you then saying that, even if a person of Asian descent were born and raised in Australia, they'd only get offered illegal and underpaid jobs? Kind of scary.

kristy said...

Jlp, wow this is kind of turning into a debate.

His resume says it all.

All his experience is in Hong Kong!

And for the record that's not his official name. Its chinese of course.

My australian whatever friends(australian-lebanese, australian-vietnamese etc) thankfully don't have half as many problems.

jlp said...

Sorry, I don't mean to be debating you. I just find it fascinating. My husband is Australian, and we've toyed with the idea of moving there. But I'm American and of Asian descent, so this job thing worries me too. (All my experience would be from other countries as well.) Do people not know that they speak English in Hong Kong, that it's an internationl city, and that they should be damn lucky that someone like him is even interested in working for them? Has he thought of using his English name for his cv? Has he thought of mentioning, in his cover letter, that he does have his own visa?

I'm trying to look at this from the employer's perspective. And I just think a lot of them are damn lazy and can't be bothered to try to get work visas for anyone. So I'm wondering if that last thing would really help...

kristy said...

I guess it depends where your experience is and how judgemental the employer is.

My friends from India and Asia have struggled job wise. Deespite masters degrees and some pretty nice experience.

Others from canada, UK and the US don't seem to have it half as bad.

Having said that though there was a big study done not that long ago called 'foreign poppy syndrome' that was actually talking about how many australians return here after living overseas only to find that their experience is not appreciated, many of whome return to other countries, and other who actually are involved in a support group. All of which is causing a 'brain drain'.

He has started using his english name on applications and while he does have a valid work visa his residence status is only temporary at the moment based on conditions and will remain like that for a few more months.

I'm hoping once he has a few aus jobs on the resume it will get better. But the problem is getting the first one and sticking to it.

Its really depressing and I don't quite get it either.

He is not looking for a job in his field but just any crappola job but even that doesn't seem to help.

Another thing that amazes me about all these jobs he finds is that none of them provide paid training, i've had some pretty yucky jobs in the past but they have all paid for training.

He has a interview for a 711 job on friday, also unpaid training and bad pay as well as night shifts (11pm-7am) but at least its legal and doesn't involve door to door sales.

Fingers crossed!

erin said...

I recommend you hire the movie "Dirty Pretty Things" - it's a drama about the crap immigrants in England go through.

jlp said...

And so kristy doesn't get depressed by said film, it's about illegal immigrants.

I now think it's the temporary residence thing that's giving employers pause. Maybe they don't want to hire someone who might not stick around. They react the same way when you're over-qualified for the position.

And now that she's posted (hi, erin; longtime reader, rare commenter), you might remember how long it took Ms. Honey to find a decent job after she moved. Mr. T has only been there for a little over a month. I know that rejection-after-rejection can be depressing (I had to go through this from September to November, applying for 4 jobs a day), but it's not unusual for job searches to take time. I'm sure he'll find something.