Seasonal workers receive less than $15

SYDNEY – A group of Pacific islanders are being paid less than $10 ($US7.23, $F15.42) a week after deductions to pick fruit and vegetables on Australian farms by a company that sponsored their visas under a federally-run worker program.

The workers came to Australia in January as part of the Department of Employment’s Seasonal Worker Programme.

The group of 20 from Fiji, and others from Tonga, were taken to the caravan park in Merrigum, in the food bowl district of northern Victoria.

Most of the workers are taken by bus every morning to nearby tomato and apple farms.

They are here on 416 visas after signing contracts with AFS Contracting Pty Ltd, based in Shepparton.

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