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

 


Changes to migrant worker protections welcome, but…

Changes to migrant worker protections welcome, but…
 
Better protection for migrant workers including those who speak out against abuse is greatly needed, but will be put at risk by parallel changes to the Employment Relations Act that would undermine other work rights, FIRST Union says.
 
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse told TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning that the government will soon be introducing amendments to immigration law to increase sanctions against employers who break the law, and which will seek to offer better protection to migrants speaking out.
 
Dennis Maga, coordinator of UNEMIG, FIRST Union’s network for migrant workers said that Immigration New Zealand needs to be able to exercise greater compassion to migrant workers who are willing to expose the bad practices of their employers but who fear for their ability to remain in New Zealand.
 
“Migrant workers will need the protection of an open visa that allows them to find alternative work while their case is heard when their employment is shown to be exploitative,” he said.
 
Dennis Maga said that stronger penalties against bad employers were a good start, but more attention was also required at the point of accreditation.
 
“Employers getting Approval in Principle to recruit workers from overseas are not being effectively monitored to ensure they meet their obligations,” he said.
 
“Enforcement is also short of the mark, and a commitment to increase the number of labour inspectors and conduct random checks in areas where exploitation of migrants is likely to happen or has been reported by the community is needed,” he said.
 
FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said proposed changes also before Parliament to the Employment Relations Act that would see greater exploitation of all workers including migrant workers.
 
“Proposed changes to the ERA will enable employers to employ migrant workers on inferior conditions to those enjoyed by existing workers on a Collective Agreement.  The proposed changes will also remove the requirement for strict adherence to meal and rest breaks and will enable employers to walk away from collective bargaining, both of which will open the door to further exploitation of migrant workers.”
 
“These proposals together with the recent employment law change that allows workers to be sacked without good cause or redress in their first 90 days of employment will not give migrant workers the confident to speak out,“ said Robert Reid.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news