Maritime Union supports bill to help casual workers

The Maritime Union says a new employment Bill before Parliament is good news for casual workers.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says that many New Zealand workers are struggling with the insecurity of casual work.

The Maritime Union welcomed the Bill which featured increased powers for Labour Inspectors to determine whether workers were fixed-term or permanent employees, and tests to determine whether a worker has progressed from casual to permanent employment.

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Action on casual workers welcomed

The Maritime Union has welcomed a Government announcement that it intends to improve protections for casual workers.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union has been arguing since 1991 that the practice of employing casual labour on the waterfront is degrading and unfair.

“It is similar to the situation of a century ago when workers lined up for work at the port gate, and many were victimized or refused work.”

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Secretary Trevor Hanson says comments by corporate heads of New Zealand’s fishing industry shows their outlook is outdated.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