Changes to working visas

Yesterday’s announcement from the Minister forImmigration, to improve temporary work visas for migrant workers, provides somepositive changes but more detail is needed. The Council of Trade Unionsfundamentally supports the principle of making work better for everyone in NewZealand; migrant workers and New Zealanders.

“Simplifying the visa process for thosewanting to migrate and work in New Zealand is a good step as long as it makesthe process fairer. We remain concerned about the ongoing exploitation ofmigrant workers and urge the Government to act swiftly to separate visas fromemployers. Currently those on migrant working visas are contingent upon theircontinued employment with a specific employer. This obviously makes it verydifficult for working people to raise concerns about how they are being treatedif the consequence is that they will no longer have a working visa,” saidCTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“The role of people in union needs to bebetter recognised in the process of setting sector agreements. We need to be atthe negotiating table. It is vital that the setting of these standardscompliments and supports existing collective bargaining.”

“Ensuring employers are accredited inorder to be eligible to employ working people on temporary working visas is agood step. But more detail about the criteria for accreditation is needed.”

“We look forward to hearing more detailfrom Minister Lees-Galloway on the details of this policy,” Wagstaff said.

/Public Release. View in full here.