THE CFMEU has called for tougher rules in the 457 visa program, with the revelation that a record high number of 457 visa holders are now working in Australia.
The union said the program needed tightening to ensure that Australian workers and young people were given priority over temporary visa workers.
Immigration Department figures released late yesterday show there were 111,780 457 visa workers in Australia at 31 March this year - up by 6,180 or 5.9 per cent compared to 12 months ago.
CFMEU National Secretary Michael O'Connor said the 457 visa workforce was growing much faster than Australian employment generally, and this was completely unjustifiable in the current jobs climate.
"The Abbott government is allowing too many employers to access 457 visas without any obligation to look for Australian workers first - and young people especially are losing out," Mr O'Connor said.
More to come.