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

 


Forest exports at risk over certification non compliance


Monday 18 February 2013

Forest exports at risk over certification non compliance

New Zealand’s forest exports are being put risk as the industry continues to drag the chain on a key aspect of its certification, a union for workers in the wood industries says.

Appalling forest safety statistics have been in the spotlight last year and in the first two months of the year with two deaths already reported.

And as a two-month round of safety briefings for forestry workers gets underway in Kaitaia today, FIRST Union is warning that the continued barriers being put in the way of forestry workers accessing union advice and support will not only have a counterproductive effect on workplace safety, but also put forestry’s critical certification at risk.

“New Zealand forest owners have responded to growing international awareness around the environmental and social issues embedded in wood production by obtaining certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an internationally recognised certification body,” FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.

“Certification allows producers to charge a price premium for their product and increasingly certification is essential to be able to sell into the global market.”

“However a key aspect of FSC certification is an obligation on forest owners, their managers and contractors to facilitate the activity of unions in the industry, recognising the union’s role in representing and supporting the forestry workforce.”

“This is clearly not happening in New Zealand with unions side-lined in the production of the local FSC standard and years of antagonism from the industry to unions playing any role at all. Now unions have been locked out of the current round of safety briefings.”

“At its core, this issue is about safety. Unions have established expertise in workplace safety programmes and in helping workers to give meaningful effect to a cornerstone of the Health and Safety in Employment Act – worker participation.”

“Workers are the ones risking their lives every day when they go to work in our forests and attempting to improve health and safety without the systematic involvement of workers is ineffective and completely misguided.”

“Forest owners put the entire New Zealand forest and wood processing industry at risk if they do not facilitate unions in the sector and work constructively with us to bring down the horrific accident and death rates in the industry,” Robert Reid said.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news