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

 


ITF president weighs in on fisheries dispute

ITF president weighs in on multi-million dollar fisheries dispute as New Zealand Parliament delays action


International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) president Paddy Crumlin has met with key stakeholders in Auckland, New Zealand, about the ongoing campaign to secure NZD30 million in unpaid wages for fishers in the region.

The ITF has contributed to Slave Free Seas’ campaign to claim outstanding wages in the vicinity of NZD30 million through the New Zealand courts.

Mr Crumlin met with senior union representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, the Slave Free Seas advocacy group and the Merchant Service Guild as part of the Regional Maritime Federation meeting.

The Regional Maritime Federation brings together maritime unions from Australia, New Zealand and PNG to try to build trade union capacity in the region.

Mr Crumlin, who is also Maritime Union of Australia national secretary, said it was imperative that fisheries workers get better wages and conditions in an industry in which 24,000 people die across the world each year.

"Slave Free Seas acts on behalf of fishers where they have no representation and legal redress,” Mr Crumlin said.

"We commend the initiative of Slave Free Seas as we try to break apart the industrial model upon which commercial fishing is built because it is akin to modern day slavery."

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood said the New Zealand Parliament needed to pass its fishing slavery laws as a matter of urgency.

"The bill has now been pushed number 27 on the parliamentary bills list, placing it in real danger of not being addressed before the upcoming national election,” Mr Fleetwood said.

"This is outrageous. The New Zealand Government is missing in action when it comes to protecting the rights and welfare of fishers in our region."

It is almost two years since the government concluded a ministerial Inquiry into the use of foreign charter vessels after national and international accusations of slave labour in New Zealand waters.

The legislation to implement the recommendations, including a requirement that all vessels be New Zealand flagged by 2016, is yet to be passed.

New Zealand’s use of cheap labour on fishing boats was scathingly labelled ‘21st Century slavery’ in a US State Department report released in mid-2012.

It cited conditions of forced labour, including debt bondage, imposition of significant debts, physical violence, mental abuse and excessive hours of work aboard vessels in New Zealand waters.

The issue was mentioned more recently in the Global Slavery Index and will continue to be an embarrassing topic of discussion until the Government gets its act together and passes the necessary law.

Slave Free Seas is a team of the world’s foremost experts on modern slavery, including international lawyers specialising in human rights and maritime law, world-leading academics, and advocates from the private sector.

While still involved with the legislative changes in the New Zealand fishing industry, the group's focus is on the development of a global legal toolbox to effectively end labour exploitation and abuse wherever it occurs in the fishing industry across the globe.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news