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

 


Exploitation And Slavery: Reality in Christchurch Rebuild?

STAND AGAINST SLAVERY

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --

Exploitation And Slavery: is This the Reality for Workers in the Christchurch Rebuild?

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND Last night, TV3’s 3rd Degree’s expose on the exploitation of vulnerable Filipino construction labourers might shock some kiwi’s who believe that exploitation and slavery does not happen in New Zealand. The programme exposed the actions of Tech5, a recruitment firm and Holdings Limited now in liquidation.

Stand Against Slavery defines slavery as when “a person is forced into an activity (including labour), held against his or her will by some method of control for the gain or profit of those who are in control of that individual.”

Tech5 provided substandard accommodation at exorbitant rates ($155 per person per room, with three men to a room), made a verbal arrangement with the men before leaving the Philippines that they would be liable for the cost of their toolbox, but once in New Zealand that cost escalated to $7,700 each (now slightly reduced to $5,600 per person), and repaid at a rate of $125 per person per week for over a year. This cost was stipulated in a replacement contract that was given to the men once they arrived in New Zealand under obligation to sign. These men are vulnerable migrant workers, in a new country, with a visa conditional upon their being connected to Tech5. Tech5 was in a position of power and abused the specific vulnerability of their workers. In addition, they created a debt bondage within the contract in stipulating that if those workers left their employment before the end of the contract, they would be liable for just over $10,000 US Dollars. Tech5 Wellington Director, John Wyatt described it as “protecting their investment”. Stand Against Slavery would describe it as a coercive tactic employed by Tech5 management to control their workers and ensure that they stay working with Tech5. It is the type of tactic that would be criminalised under the new measures in the Immigration Amendment Act (No 2) Bill. Such measures are typical in bonded servitude and the reality of enslavement for many workers around the world, and now, in New Zealand today.

With Holdings Limited folding, their workers are now left without legal immigration status and must wait until Immigration New Zealand fix their visa. At the recent Prevent People Trafficking Conference in Wellington during June 2014, an Immigration Official mentioned that a new policy regarding an open visa for vulnerable workers such as the Holdings Limited workers, is still being “discussed”. Therefore, the fate of these workers is unclear. If Immigration NZ determines that they cannot provide another work visa for the workers, and they are repatriated home, the workers fate will be bitter-sweet. They will see their families but they will have at least $4,000 owing to local debt collectors, and wages in the Philippines are much lower than New Zealand, as such, their ability to repay those loans will be severely impaired. Therefore, the Directors of Holdings Limited get off scott-free while these workers will pay the cost for years to come.

Stand Against Slavery believes that the government should be moving on policies to ensure that migrant workers are protected. We agree with Paul Brown, lawyer for some of the Tech5 employees, that every person in New Zealand who is legally able to work, should have access to basic standards of employment law. We also believe that the open-visa policy for exploited migrants should be addressed urgently and incorporated into the Immigration Amendment Act (No 2) Bill.

Stand Against Slavery is an organisation that is determined to increase the consciousness and active participation of the New Zealand public about the global injustice of human slavery and the trading of slaves in every country in the world, including New Zealand.

--ENDS—


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news