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

 

JUSTICE for Filipino Dairy Workers in NZ

JUSTICE for Mary Jane Veloso, JUSTICE for Filipino Dairy Workers in NZ and All Victims of Illegal Recruiters

We applaud Indonesia’s moratorium on executions as we in the Filipino-Kiwi communities in New Zealand were among those who prayed and petitioned for the life of human trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso. Mary Jane’s plight generated massive support from citizens around the globe. This young mother of two on the brink of execution on drug trafficking charges became the face of many other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) on death row and those exploited by illegal recruiters and abusive employers. We hope that freedom and justice for Mary Jane will be the next good news.

In New Zealand, over 1000 Filipino migrant workers are now greatly distressed as they experience their lives hanging in the dairy farms. Last October, Immigration NZ arrested a dual Filipino/New Zealand national on fraud charges. This recruiter used false employer details and false documents on workers’ experience, asking huge fees from the applicants wanting to work in NZ. We hope Filipinos back home would be aware of this scam and be careful not to be victimised by recruiters who take advantage of their desperate need to find better jobs in NZ and elsewhere.

Like Mary Jane who was victimized by a heartless recruiter, the fate of hundreds of Filipino dairy workers victimized by illegal recruiters remain uncertain. With the extended long wait for work visa approval, many of the victims under scrutiny are unable to work and thus unable to send money to their families back in the Philippines. Their debts are growing on top of the thousands of dollars they had to pay their recruiters.

Recently 10 Filipinos were reportedly declined renewal of work visa. We hope this won’t be the fate of many others awaiting approval and that they will be fully protected by NZ employment laws, especially being victims of illegal recruiters.

Filipinos in the construction industry being recruited for the Christchurch rebuild must also be careful with employers who take advantage of migrant workers through contract substitution, underpayment and other unfair labour practices. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) research found Filipino workers were most likely to be exploited as they feared losing their job or visa if they spoke out. Many paid between $8000 and $15,000 to a recruitment agent at home to secure a job in New Zealand. The MBIE research further noted that migrants working in construction are paid less than the minimum wage. The most common exploitative practice was the excessive amount of money charged by recruitment agencies in the Philippines and situations of contract substitution.

We seek justice for all exploited migrants in NZ and many more Mary Janes around the world. Migrante Partylist is hoping to win 3 seats in Congress to strengthen advocacy for scores of migrant workers in distress who hardly or belatedly receive government assistance as experienced by Mary Jane in over 5 long years of her case. “Proteksyon, hindi Koleksyon. Serbisyo, hindi Negosyo” is Migrante’s urgent cry in the face of the dreaded “tanim bala” modus operandi in the infamous Manila airport, on top of unjust opening of balikbayan boxes, lack of legal assistance, excessive taxation and multiple burdens suffered by OFWs.

More importantly, we shall continue to challenge the Philippine government to do better in its duty to ensure the best protection for millions be of underpaid and underemployed Filipinos: Create decent jobs, ensure decent pay and reduce the taxes at home in order to end forced migration. When migration becomes truly an option rather than a desperate move for many Filipinos who fell prey to heartless recruiters and abusive employers abroad, only then can we feel we are truly on “Daang Matuwid.”

Cristobal Espinosa Mely Feria

Coordinator, Migrante Dairy Farmers NZ Coordinator, Migrante Partylist

secretariat@migrante.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Australia's Superior Ways Of Communicating About Its Vaccine Rollout

It isn’t only on the cricket field that Australia performs better. The clarity and degree of detail in Australia’s published schedule of the priorities for its vaccine rollout has been very impressive. Here for instance, is their initial “1a” top priority category: Quarantine and border workers, including: staff at entry points to the country (such as sea ports and land borders)... More>>


 

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>

ALSO:




Government: PHARMAC Review Announced

The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:



Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels