Foreigners may be banned to work in Australia-based fast food chains

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Fast food
A meal of a "Monster"-sized A.1. Peppercorn burger, Bottomless Steak Fries, and Monster Salted Caramel Milkshake. Reuters/Dominick Reuter

The federal government will reportedly banned fast food chains from hiring foreigners to work in Australia. McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s, KFC and other fast food restaurants can no longer sponsor foreigners on 457 visas.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton assured young Australians looking for a job in fast food chains that they would no longer have to compete with foreign workers. “The Aussie kid shouldn’t be knocked out of the job by a foreign worker, which is what Bill Shorten did,” the Daily Telegraph quoted him saying.

The minister’s statement was made after the federal government put an end to the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement that allowed leading fast food outlets to import staff on 457 visas. The aforementioned agreement was orchestrated by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the administration of former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Dutton wants Australian workers, particularly young Australians, to be prioritised when it comes to job employment in fast food. Foreigners who are currently working in Australia will supposedly be forced to leave the country as soon as their agreements run out unless their employers present an individual case as to why they should stay in the Land Down Under.

The minister clarified that the new policy affects workers at all levels of business from managers to burger flippers. According to Daily Mail, McDonald's employed 285 foreign workers under the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement.

Hungry Jack's, on the other hand, was allowed to bring in at least 74 foreigners on 457 visas, while KFC brought in 88 foreign workers. At least 32 people from abroad were hired by other fast food chains. The 457 visa holders come from India, the United Kingdom, China, the Philippines and Ireland.

Dutton told reporters that he was “more concerned about mum and dads who want their teenage kids to get a job.” He believes that the chance to work teaches young Australians the value of money and respect for people. “I think it teaches them a work ethic they might not have got otherwise,” he added.

Dutton leaves it to the Labor to explain why they “preferred foreign workers over Australian workers.” Meanwhile, Senator David Leyonhjelm supports the industry-wide ban as he shares the same belief with Dutton that working on a fast food chain is a training ground. “And I'd love to see it retained as a training ground for young workers,” Leyonhjelm told reporters in Canberra. 

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