CTU MEDIA RELEASE
1 Oct 2006
Sustainable Fishing Industry Won’t Be Built On The Back Of Exploitation Of Workers
“The fishing industry needs to significantly lift its game in the treatment of foreign and domestic fishing crews if we are to see a sustainable fishing industry in New Zealand,” Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
“It is a disgrace that an increasing reliance on exploited foreign crews has developed over recent years,” Carol Beaumont said.
“The long term success of the fishing industry is critical to the New Zealand economy,” she said. “The CTU wants to ensure that it is an industry where New Zealanders want to work and are provided with decent work, through adequate wages and conditions, and that we put a halt to the appalling exploitation of foreign fishing crews operating in New Zealand.”
“An important step in this direction is for New Zealand companies working with foreign crews to take responsibility for the employment obligations of foreign crewed vessels being met.”
“We also need to see adequate minimum wages and conditions established, clear limitations on the use of wage deduction practises and proper monitoring and enforcement of all of these conditions.”
“These moves are a necessary first step in an industry development strategy which creates a sustainable fishing industry for New Zealand and provides decent work for New Zealanders,” Beaumont said.
“A development strategy for the industry should not only improve wages and conditions, but requires a commitment to training of staff, improvement in safety practises and gains in productivity.”
“Fishing is a very important industry to iwi Maori, and to the New Zealand economy. It is in all our best interests to ensure that it is built on sustainable practises, in particular with regard to the treatment of New Zealand and overseas workers,” Beaumont said.