May 20, 2024

Maritime Union says minimum wage free trade deal will meet industrial resistance

Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union will resist any attempt to undermine wages and conditions through short term casual workers imported under free trade deals.

He says that comments by Trade Minister Phil Goff on the China free trade deal are disturbing for workers and not in line with the Labour Government’s commitment to a high skill, high wage economy.

There will be no incentive for training or paying for skills if businesses are able to step outside the national labour market and pull in trained staff on the minimum wage, says Mr Hanson.

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Maritime Union congratulates Government action on overseas fishing crews

The Maritime Union says the new rules to improve wages and conditions for overseas fishing crews announced today are good news for workers.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the announcement means the industry will be brought into line with the rest of New Zealand business.

“Despite a co-ordinated campaign by special interests in the industry, the Government has made the right decision and the principled decision.”

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Free trade deal biggest threat to workers since Employment Contracts Act

The Maritime Union says the free trade deal with China is the biggest threat to workers in New Zealand since the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act in 1991.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the importation of short-term, casualized skilled labour being paid the minimum wage will be a disaster.

“This is obviously going to have a major and negative effect on wages and conditions in New Zealand.”

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Fishing bosses out of touch on wages and conditions

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says comments by corporate heads of New Zealand’s fishing industry shows their outlook is outdated.

He says some fishing bosses are trying to undermine a Government plan to ensure market rates were paid to all fishermen in New Zealand waters.

Mr Hanson says the moves by the Government are the result of a long process of investigation, and needed to happen to bring New Zealand into line with International Labour Organization (ILO) standards.

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Maritime Union steps up support of locked out Progressive workers

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has boosted its support of locked out distribution workers at Progressive Enterprises with union members to contribute one hours wages per week until the dispute is settled.

Maritime Union Acting General Secretary Terry Ryan says the resolution was passed unanimously on a national conference call of all ports today.

“The Maritime Union is 100% committed to supporting the locked out workers at Progressive using all financial, industrial and political methods open to us.”

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Maritime Union backs Progressive workers battle

The Maritime Union is supporting locked out members of the National Distribution Union at Progressive Enterprises sites in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union has committed itself to financial, practical and moral support for the workers and their pickets.

He says the situation is a serious one because it showed how multinational corporates in New Zealand are determined to create a low-wage economy.

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Push for cheap labour trafficking in Oz shows where free trade deals are leading

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says that growing pressure to bring unskilled labour into Australia under a free trade agreement has confirmed its worst fears.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says that proposals to allow companies to import unskilled Chinese workers into Australian ports and construction sites gave a clear message to New Zealand workers.

“This is the equivalent of a huge neon sign flashing out the warning that free trade deals will inevitably lead to a collapse in wages, conditions and workers rights. It is time we have a national debate on free trade, and get the issue away from the control of bureaucrats and private interest groups.”

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Plea for help from fishing vessel “named and shamed” in global abuse report

Burmese crew members aboard the fishing vessel “Sky 75” in the Port of Timaru have approached unions with a plea for help, a day after their vessel was “named and shamed” in an international report.

The fishing vessel “Sky 75” was featured as a specific example of crew abuse in an international report from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that was presented to a United Nations meeting on maritime law that opened in New York yesterday.

New Zealand ITF co-ordinator Kathy Whelan says the “Sky 75” is a repeat offender, and the vessel had already come to the attention of the ITF when 10 Indonesian crew left the Korean registered fishing vessel ‘Sky 75’ in the Port of Nelson in September 2005.

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