CTU Media Release
23 August 2011
Fishing Inquiry Has to Deliver
The Council of Trade Unions says that the Fishing Inquiry has to make a real difference to the lives of workers on foreign chartered vessels and to help create job opportunities for Kiwi workers.
Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, said “unions have been at the forefront of a campaign to expose the shocking treatment of workers on these fishing ships and welcome the formal announcement of the Inquiry.”
“The Inquiry however needs to ensure that it considers how land-based processing can provide jobs with decent conditions and also add value to fish exports. With so many Kiwis out of work, we have to develop this industry in a way that provides sustainable employment.”
New Zealanders have been shocked by the terrible working conditions on ships such as the Shin Ji, Oyang 70 and Oyang 75.
CTU Vice President Maori Syd Keepa said “foreign fishing crews are a modern example of colonisation - quota holders may not be going into foreign territories, but the exploitation, abuse, and disregard for fishing crews human rights have all the hall marks of traditional colonisation and shouldn’t be happening.”
“Quota holders should be looking to build a fishing industry in New Zealand that supports skill development and job creation for New Zealand crews rather than exploiting foreign crews,” said Syd Keepa.
Peter Conway said that the union movement will actively participate in the Inquiry, and Syd Keepa has called on quota holders to meet with Te Runanga o Nga Kaimahi Maori (Maori arm of the union movement) to discuss an alternative model of using fishing quota.