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Wine growers approach puts RSE in jeopardy


01 September 2008

Wine growers approach puts RSE in jeopardy

Calls by wine industry employers for even more government support to help them train Pacific workers to do the low paid jobs they offer are outrageous, in the light of recent stories of the appalling treatment of these workers,” Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said today.

“The only group not meeting its obligations in the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) arrangements are the employers themselves.”

“The Government is providing the systems and staff to recruit the workers, the unions are running around trying to provide some level of advice and support to them, the Department of Labour is trying to manage inspections and compliance and the workers are taking huge risks and coming here on a promise.”

“The employers are turning up on television because they are putting 14 people in a single house, charging exorbitant rents, deducting all sorts of costs from workers’ wages and generally carrying out very poor practices.”

“This is putting the scheme in jeopardy.”

“Grape production was up 61% in Marlborough this year, and these wine makers are doing their very best to pocket all that additional money themselves.”

“We suggest employers develop a serious strategy that will attract a Kiwi workforce into these jobs in the long term, and in the shorter term work out ways of ensuring all workers that come here on the RSE scheme have a successful period of work.”


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