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Friday, June 15, 2012

"Australia Gets Money and China Gets Australia"

A rather lengthy article from Business Week on Chinese mercantilism at work in Australia. As an example:
In June, Wiltshire was one of many locals surprised to see the Sino mine project in the Pilbara advertise for riggers, crane operators, and fitters who speak Mandarin. As an unhappy union official named Joe McDonald put it: "The only bloke I know who can speak Mandarin is Kevin Rudd."

John Sutton, the national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the biggest representative of Australian mine workers, voices a widely held concern: "As more Chinese investment comes in, it's inevitable that they'll want to bring in their own workforce, with lower costs and conditions than the locals. Why else would a company advertise in a way that shuts out pretty much every Australian job applicant?"

Or, as Kinnaird puts it: "We've seen it before in the 1980s, when Japanese companies brought in Japanese-speaking workers. When the Japanese economy busted and they pulled out of Australia, they left nothing for the local workforce."

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