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Changes needed to stop migrant worker abuse

Changes needed to stop migrant worker abuse
FIRST Union and its migrant worker network, UNEMIG are cautiously optimistic at comments from labour officials yesterday that changes are afoot to deal with the rapidly growing problem of migrant worker exploitation in New Zealand.
Last night One News highlighted a second rescue of a migrant domestic worker by UNEMIG within the last 6 months. 
However last night’s news piece also quoted an official from the Labour Inspectorate of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as saying that the Government was moving on policy to deal with the problem of migrant worker exploitation in New Zealand.
FIRST Union and UNEMIG have been highlighting the exploitation and abuses of migrant workers for some time, said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.
“However, up until now, the Government has not seemed to understand the severity of the situation.  We hope that the Government is genuine in its intention to eliminate migrant worker abuse and exploitation in this country,” he said.
UNEMIG Coordinator, Dennis Maga, said his network was also observing a disturbing trend of migrant workers being exploited by employers who are former migrants to New Zealand.
“Exploitation of migrant workers must be condemned and eliminated no matter who the exploiter is,” said Dennis Maga.
“With its poor labour standards, lack of enforcement of employment law and continuing attack on union rights, it has become open season in New Zealand for the exploitation of migrant workers, he said.
Robert Reid and Dennis Maga said they were looking forward to the Government announcements on cracking down on migrant exploitation.
“These announcements would need to be substantial and concrete.  Anything less would just be whitewash,” Robert Reid said.


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