Time to start ignoring irresponsible businesses claiming worker shortages – First Union

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In response to several recent stories from unethical and out-dated business lobby groups claiming worker shortages in several industries, FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga has released the below response.

“If you look at the industries that are claiming a worker shortage they’re all low paid, some have even broken the law through the exploitation and human trafficking of migrant workers. There’s a reason no one wants to work in these jobs, their time isn’t worth the money and they often cannot afford to live on what some of these unethical businesses choose to offer. And it is a choice right, what’s really disheartening is that it’s not like the money isn’t there.Horticulture for example is one of our highest export earners.”

“If you want people to do the work, pay them fairly, pay them what they’re worth to you and stop crying out for migrant workers to exploit. Further to that, New Zealanders are hard workers and they will do the work, as long as they feel it’s fair pay for the work. It’s quite simple; supply and demand.”

“It’s important that we red-flag companies that claim to have a worker shortage to ensure they’re not exploiting migrants due to their low pay not attracting workers who already live here. In past audits of different sectors we’ve seen horrific levels of exploitation. We know it is a problem in horticulture, retail, hospitality, transport, construction, and silviculture.”

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We are looking forward to the results of the Coalition Government’s review of the exploitation of migrant workers and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s research because it will tell us exactly how widespread the issue is. Maybe then these businesses will realise that scraping profits through under-paying workers isn’t the way to a sustainable and progressive economy.”