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Migrant worker exploitation needs sharper focus

The astonishing number of employers found guilty of exploiting migrants shows that migrant exploitation is a serious problem in New Zealand, says Labour Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“A total of 53 companies have been banned from recruiting migrant workers under measures introduced in April, but the Government’s effort to enforce employment law is insufficient given how much the migrant workforce has grown in the last five years.

“There’s not even one Labour Inspector based in Marlborough which is our biggest wine growing region. We know there’s a big problem in both the viticulture and horticulture areas so it’s surprising that only four companies in these sectors have been banned for exploiting migrant workers.

“That’s why Labour will double the number of Labour Inspectors across the country to stamp out migrant exploitation.

“This Government is only belatedly dealing with the problem and after nine years we need a fresh approach to ensure workers no matter where they come from are properly protected from bad employers.

“Instead of expanding the use of migrant workers in New Zealand, the Government should focus its attention on stopping the exploitation of those workers and making sure that employers are providing decent working conditions for everyone working in New Zealand,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.