While resistance in the National Party caucus delays the passage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says there should be no health and safety law exceptions for small businesses and farmers.
“Some MPs within the National Party appear to be pushing to retain the status quo, the same status quo that led to workplace disasters like the Pike River Mine explosion”.
Companies who outsource their New Zealand quota catch to foreign fishing vessels must take more steps to ensure they are not enabling slave fishers says Union Network of Migrant (UNEMIG) workers’ advocate Dennis Maga.
Returning some of the income that was stolen from beneficiaries in National’s welfare cuts in 1991 is not an adequate way to address poverty or reduce inequality says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.
“The government’s decision to lift benefit levels for families receiving state support will mean nothing without stronger action on the housing crisis. Many families will see their extra support eaten up by rising rents”.
A group representing migrant workers is welcoming the government’s changes to Essential Skills visas, but concerns remain over the content of an accreditation scheme which aims to protect migrant workers against unscrupulous employers.
FIRST Union is welcoming the Reserve Bank’s new lending restrictions for property investors in Auckland, but believes the Government should be doing more to address the multiple issues that feed into the problem of Auckland’s housing affordability.
“Slowing house price inflation won’t solve the problem for Auckland workers, many of whom are already struggling with the high cost of housing” says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.
The Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG) welcomes the Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2), but loopholes remain open that facilitate migrant worker exploitation, according to UNEMIG Migrant Workers’ Advocate Dennis Maga.
“There are positive changes in the amendment law, including increased penalties for exploitation, the power to deport exploitative employers holding residence visas, greater funding to tackle exploitation and removing the different penalties for exploitation of documented and undocumented migrants,” said Maga.