BLUEBERRY SURVEY: Blueberry pickers, both past and present, are encouraged to complete a Fair Work Ombudsman survey about the industry.
BLUEBERRY SURVEY: Blueberry pickers, both past and present, are encouraged to complete a Fair Work Ombudsman survey about the industry. Trevor Veale

Fair Work Ombudsman issues blueberry industry survey

BLUEBERRY pickers are encouraged to fill out a Fair Work Ombudsman survey to gather general information about the blueberry picking industry in NSW.

A representative of the FWO said the survey related to the Harvest Trail Inquiry, which focused on the national horticulture sectors to assist employees with persistent underpayments and confusions among growers and labour-hire contractors about their work place obligations.

It does not relate to any specific audit or investigation.

The Harvest Trail Inquiry started in August 2013 and its findings are due to reported later this year.

It will run alongside the FWO's recent inquiry into the experiences of subclass 417 working visa-holders.

It found networks within horticulture and viticulture, grape production, sectors can have a large number of vulnerable migrant workers.

The 417 visa-holder inquiry found the requirement to do 88 days of specified, regional paid work to qualify for the second-year visa created an environment which could exploit overseas workers, who were often reluctant to complain.

The online survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/blueberriesfwo.

For more information, visit www.fairwork.gov.au or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.