- Date published:
7:03 am, June 15th, 2017 - 37 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, human rights, im/migration, unemployment, workers' rights - Tags: Emmerson, exploitation, exploited workers, foreign workers, list, migrants, unemployment
Good coverage of Labour’s immigration policy from an anonymous editorial on Stuff:
Labour’s immigration policy is not racist or xenophobic. It is a careful and moderate policy designed to deal with several serious problems at once.
Net immigration is at unprecedented levels and is causing serious economic trouble. It is helping stoke the fires of house prices. It is helping clog the already-clogged roads of Auckland. It is putting a strain on schools, transport services, even on the decaying water pipes. Nobody disputes that these problems are real or that they will cost a fortune to fix.
Clearly too many unskilled foreign workers are being allowed into New Zealand, allowing the Government and employers to avoid the thorny problem of training New Zealanders to do this work. Bill English’s attempts to paint Kiwi workers as drugged-out and useless back-fired disastrously when the evidence showed that drugged-up workers are not a major problem.
There certainly are problems with unemployed people lacking skills, and this won’t be easily fixed. It raises serious issues about underprivilege and a hard-core of intergenerational unemployed. But this is a problem that must be faced and fixed. Hiring foreigners to stack shelves and serve in shops is daft.
Labour’s policy would allow a more regional approach to deciding skill shortages and needs and would also require foreign workers to stay in the particular region. It would also put greater pressure on employers to find local workers before reaching for the immigration solution. That is as it should be. Immigration has always been meant to run in tandem with a local labour market policy, not as a substitute for it. …
The exploitation of foreign students and workers needs more attention:
Immigration officials say Indian students have been regularly threatening self-harm and sleeping in cars because they did not earn enough to buy food.
Emails from Immigration NZ staff in India, obtained by the Labour Party under the Official Information Act, expressed concern about an “exploitation/facilitation triangle” in which Indian education agents, NZ educational institutions and Kiwi employers were all making money from Indian students. …
Widespread migrant exploitation has been uncovered in New Zealand with a new report stating workers have been unpaid, denied toilet breaks and subjected to threats and abuse by Kiwi bosses.
Dozens of migrant workers who have fallen victim to exploitation and human trafficking in New Zealand have relayed disturbing accounts of abuse to University of Auckland researcher Dr Christina Stringer.
Workers claimed their passports have been confiscated, their movements have been restricted and they’ve been forced to work up to 18 hours a day and live in overcrowded, substandard accommodation.
Some reported being propositioned for sex by employers while others said New Zealand authorities had refused to listen to their pleas for help because they didn’t have the right documentation.
Two interviewees said they felt like they were “prey”, while another commented: “I feel like they own me because of visas.” Stringer interviewed more than 100 people during her research, the majority of whom were temporary migrants.
Her report marks the first independent evidence-based research of its kind in the country.
It highlights how migrant exploitation – an often secretive and under-reported issue – has been occurring for years across some of New Zealand’s biggest industries, including dairy, horticulture, hospitality and international education.
“The findings of this report, which highlight and uncover areas of significant concern, deserve urgent attention,” read the report, titled Worker Exploitation in New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape.
Farm owners fined $21k for under-paying migrant workers
Immigrant workers felt helpless during exploitation
Abuse of young and migrant workers uncovered
Report finds migrant worker exploitation
Filipino national fined $10,000 for exploiting migrant workers
Migrant workers underpaid $70,000-plus
And so on.
Those arguing for unrestricted immigration are – wittingly or unwittingly – fueling higher levels of exploitation in NZ. Meanwhile 90,000 young Kiwis have no job, no training to go to. We need better pathways in to work for these young people. And we need better support to protect workers’ (all workers’) rights.
I'm not anti immigration.I am anti exploitation. When only migrant students are prepared to do a job, the problem is the job.
— Kate Davis (@kateinthebay) June 13, 2017