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Fishing industry corporates "working against good"

Alliance Party media release For immediate release Saturday 7 October 2006

Alliance says fishing industry corporates working against public good

The Alliance says fishing industry bosses are holding the country to ransom and the fishing industry should be put under public management and ownership.

Alliance co-leader Len Richards says a co-ordinated attack by fishing industry corporates on proposals to improve industry wage rates shows a small group of self-interested capitalists holding the country to ransom.

"When these outfits complain about compliance costs, what they mean is having to pay workers a livable wage – that is not a compliance
cost, that is a cost of doing business in a civilized society."

"Considering that the fishing corporates are using a public resource that belongs to all of us, which should be managed and conserved for future generations, their attitude is beyond arrogance."

Mr Richards says an obvious option is to turn all large scale fisheries over to a public-owned industry with worker and community control and environmental sustainability goals.

"The only losers would be the corporate chiefs and big shareholders."

He says that no other industry is allowed to undermine wages and conditions through offering minimum wage conditions, then pretending there was a labour shortage in New Zealand.

"We have seen continual examples of the exploitation and abuse of low waged crews from overseas in the last few years and it has got to stop."

He says that it is to be expected that the National Party will always attack the workers, but the position of the Maori Party was especially bad.

Mr Richards says the claim by Tariana Turia that paying livable wages to local workers was somehow against Maori was appalling, considering the numbers of Maori workers in the industry whose jobs and conditions were under attack.

"It is a disgrace that the Maori Party is promoting this anti-worker position as most Maori belong to the working class. The Maori Party has to take sides in a class-divided society. If they continue down the path that Tariana Turia is promoting here they will end up being the Maori (Capitalist Elite) Party."

ENDS

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