FIRST Union has welcomed a decision to create a pathway to residence for up to 165,000 migrant workers that are already in Aotearoa. FIRST Union has organised thousands of migrant workers through the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG).
"The 2021 Resident Visa is a significant achievement and a great way to migrant workers’ contribution to our pandemic response and economic recovery", said FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga.
"It is good to see this uncertainty come to an end, and is a positive step for migrant communities who have, at times, felt like their concerns have been ignored as secondary."
"We also believe this decision will substantially reduce the risk of migrant worker exploitation, as workers will now have a real pathway to residency and better access to decent work."
"The decision is equally important to businesses that are struggling with both a nationwide labour shortage and fragmented international supply chains".
Maga also said that the decision to simplify and streamline the application process will be a net positive.
"Delays in the visa variations applications for migrant workers changing employers, for example, have limited options for both workers and employers. We support initiatives to streamline immigration processes."
"Our union represents migrant workers in a range of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction and retail, and we will continue to support workers as they navigate their application processes."