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

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news