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

 

Deals bringing Burma horrors closer to home

Friday 10 October 2008

Free trade deals bringing Burma horrors closer to home, says Alliance

The Alliance Party says an international trade union campaign on the plight of Burmese workers is a embarrassing reminder that New Zealand is actively signing up to free trade deals involving the Burmese regime.

Alliance Party trade spokesperson Victor Billot says a new documentary from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) graphically illustrates the horrifying brutality of the Burmese regime, with which New Zealand is involved in free trade deals.

Mr Billot says the issue is closer to home than many New Zealanders realized.

"There have been numerous incidents in New Zealand waters in recent years where Burmese seafarers and fishermen have been mistreated aboard vessels in New Zealand waters, and in some cases have jumped ship."

He says the issue is one where the plight of impoverished workers is ignored in favour of the promise of profits.

New Zealand has recently announced free trade deals with ASEAN, the group of Asian nations that includes Burma, and also Thailand where many Burmese refugees are based.

Mr Billot says the free trade agreement with ASEAN nations makes New Zealand complicit with such regimes.

"The Labour Government and National opposition have committed us to closer economic relations to a regime that butchers workers."

He says the work of organizations such as the Seafarers Union of Burma and the International Transport Workers Federation was vital in exposing the brutal anti-worker nature of such regimes but the issue required Government action.

Mr Billot says that under free trade agreements the use of cross-border labour was becoming increasingly common, where short-term, casualized workers were imported across borders to drive down wages and conditions in a "lose-lose" scenario for workers.

The Alliance has urged rejection of free trade deals.

"As we have seen with the Fonterra debacle and the current global financial collapse, the deregulated, free market capitalist model is failing humanity. New Zealand should take the lead by electing a party that stands for human values and refuses to ignore human rights abuses – the Alliance Party."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election