Unions fear job losses from China trade deal
“The release today of the study into a China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement has done nothing to allay the concerns of unions,” said Ross Wilson today.
Ross Wilson said that the CTU is not surprised that the study recommends proceeding with a full negotiation.
The CTU has made a major submission on all aspects of the proposed trade agreement including goods, services and investment. Our submission highlighted the atrocious labour conditions of many Chinese workers, the lack of worker rights, and breaches of core international labour conditions.
Ross Wilson said that “the Government should not just talk up the gains and talk down the losses which could come from a trade agreement.
This announcement means that it is an urgent requirement for the Government to work with unions and employers in the manufacturing sector to ensure that a trade agreement does not result in a net loss of manufacturing jobs”.
At a recent business meeting in Auckland to discuss the proposed trade agreement, one New Zealand company based in China boasted that the wage bill for their 22 expatriate staff was the same as the total wage bill for their 2,500 Chinese workers.
“It is this attitude that is of extreme concern to unions if the trade agreement accelerates greater relocation to China of some of the 300,000 New Zealand manufacturing jobs,” Ross Wilson said.