Worker Shortage No Excuse For Dairy Industry
2 September 2008
WORKER SHORTAGE NO EXCUSE FOR DAIRY INDUSTRY
New Zealand First is concerned at reports that some in the dairy industry are using migrant labour to avoid paying New Zealanders higher wages driven up by the tight labour market, says the party’s primary production spokesperson Doug Woolerton.
Mr Woolerton’s comments follow a story in this morning’s Southland Times which quotes a sharemilker who admits to turning away New Zealand workers in preference of foreign workers due to their cheaper wages.
“Such a situation is very concerning,” said Mr Woolerton.
“Migrants are necessary to fill genuine skills shortages that Kiwis cannot meet, but must not be used to depress wages for New Zealanders, as is clearly happening here.
“This is not an isolated case, and is not just an issue for the dairy industry. But the very tight labour market in Southland should not be used as an excuse for such practices.
“Farmers must accept that due to the recent boom and resulting growth in the industry, market forces have pushed wages up for workers in the sector,” said Mr Woolerton.