Casual workers must be offered support in recession

The Maritime Union says that protection for casual workers in the economic recession is a major focus for 2009.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union is interested in meeting with the incoming Minister of Labour in the new National-led Government to discuss the plight of casual workers.

He says it is important that casual workers are not left out of plans to provide security to workers in a recession.

“Both main parties are committed to measures to protect incomes in the case of redundancy in the recession period. The Maritime Union wants to ensure casual workers are not missed out.”

Mr Hanson says when unemployment grows, those workers in casual jobs will be hit hardest and hit first.

The Union had a two step plan, the first goal being to work for permanent, secure jobs, and the second goal being to ensure any casual workers received support and protection.

Mr Hanson says the flow of skilled workers to Australia will increase in a recession unless the maritime industry offered career paths especially for young people, based around secure jobs, training and stability.

“Casualization is putting the future of many young people in jeopardy, and many workers who have been in the industry for years are still in the casualization trap.”

He says a casualization review started by Labour and New Zealand First should be continued by the incoming Government in order to provide continuity and to address an ongoing structural problem in the New Zealand economy.

“Mr Key has indicated he wants an inclusive approach and the Maritime Union would say that a good test of this will be whether this serious issue is addressed.”

“The Maritime Union sees a top priority as secure jobs in the maritime industry, and all sectors of the New Zealand economy. A casualized, low-skilled workforce can only disadvantage New Zealand and the Maritime Union are committed to a secure, high-skill permanent workforce in New Zealand’s maritime industry.”

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