Darker side emerging of exploitation of migrant workers in NZ
In reference to the New Zealand resident who allegedly brought Samoan nationals to do illegal work for him in the
horticultural industry on a regular basis for decades.
FIRST Union’s Pasefika Fono spokesperson Mark Muller says he’s saddened there has been a second human trafficking
offence in New Zealand.
“It shows how much workers have been degraded in our country and I feel deeply for those affected. To not pay someone,
confiscate their passport and physically assault them, if all that’s alleged is true it’s an even darker side emerging
of the exploitation of migrant workers in New Zealand.”
FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga says immigration and migrant employee rights need to be protected.
“It is so important that anyone who comes here to work is protected as any other New Zealander would be. People’s
employment rights need to be protected no matter where they come from. It’s about decent work for all regardless of
“Both recruiters and rogue employers who use slave labour such in this case must also be held accountable.”
“This also points out why it’s all the more necessary for New Zealand to sign onto the United Nations Global Compact for
Migration despite all the scaremongering that has occurred around it. It protects New Zealand’s sovereignty while also
seeking to implement a more global effort on migration, most of which we are already doing.”
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.