Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Union says "sweatship labour" plan a disgrace

Maritime Union says "sweatship labour" plan a disgrace

The Maritime Union says that reports that New Zealand fishing companies are looking at importing cheap labour from China should be sounding alarm bells for New Zealand workers.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the move is one that he has predicted for some time, and is part of what he sees as the accelerating trend towards the casualization of the maritime workforce.

"This is the path we are taking of free market globalization ­ the only reason these companies will pull in Third World workers will be to employ them on Third World pay and conditions."

Mr Hanson says the maritime industry is being ripped apart by the use of Flag of Convenience "sweatships" off the New Zealand coast.

"We are constantly having to investigate incidents where foreign crews are being made to load and unload ships, taking the work off New Zealand workers."

Unless New Zealand rejected this approach, the next stage would be foreign workers employed under low wages and poor conditions working on the waterfront and working within New Zealand in other industries, says Mr Hanson.

He says that Chinese maritime workers are some of the most exploited and frightened the Maritime Union comes across in New Zealand ports.

Mr Hanson stressed the Maritime Union was an internationalist Union that supported all workers, and often assisted foreign seafarers who were being ripped off by employers.

"We are not opposed to foreign workers, but we are strongly opposed to companies exploiting cheap foreign labour to undermine wages and conditions for local workers."

"If the companies in question were going to pay New Zealand rates, under accepted New Zealand conditions of employment, and they were not going to displace local workers, it would be a different story," says Mr Hanson.

The Maritime Union is currently running a national campaign for secure employment in the maritime industry with meetings in all ports being held over May.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need.

And I’m hedging with the ‘could well’ only because the Ardern government hasn’t yet spelled out whether the name change it has announced will also involve a rejection of the controversial use of Big Data to try and predict those children deemed to be at highest risk of inter-generational reliance on welfare support. More>>


Principals' Federation: End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>


RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>


'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>





Featured InfoPages