Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Chinese wage rates part of free trade deal?

Chinese workers in New Zealand at Chinese wage rates as part of the free trade deal?

31st July, 2006

The Green Party is asking the Government to reveal whether allowing the entry of Chinese labour into New Zealand, working at Chinese wage rates, is on the table at the free trade talks that recommenced today in Beijing.

“It has been revealed by the Australian Financial Review that the Chinese Government has asked the Australian Government to allow unskilled Chinese labourers into Australian ports and construction sites as part of their free trade talks so it seems very likely that they would ask the same of New Zealand,” says Russel Norman, the Green Party Co-Leader.

“If Chinese workers were allowed to work in New Zealand ports and construction sites at Chinese wage rates it would fundamentally change the way industrial relations works in this country and push down wages and conditions across the board,” Dr. Norman, the Greens’ trade spokesperson says.

“We ask the Government to come clean and reveal whether this is on the table in Beijing, and if so what has been the response of the New Zealand trade negotiators.

“Chinese workers are prevented from forming free trade unions and to introduce workers without those trade union rights into the New Zealand labour market would be a disaster for workers’ wages and conditions here.

“We should support the right of workers in China to unionise, and we support the establishment of an international minimum wage, but we don’t support using free trade talks to produce an international race to the bottom on wages.

“Just how desperate are they to get a free trade deal? Are they willing to compromise the entire industrial relations framework of this country?” asks Dr. Norman.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election