FIRST Union has welcomed a decision to create a pathway to residence for up to 165,000 migrant workers that are already
in Aotearoa. FIRST Union has organised thousands of migrant workers through the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG).
"The 2021 Resident Visa is a significant achievement and a great way to migrant workers’ contribution to our pandemic
response and economic recovery", said FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga.
"It is good to see this uncertainty come to an end, and is a positive step for migrant communities who have, at times,
felt like their concerns have been ignored as secondary."
"We also believe this decision will substantially reduce the risk of migrant worker exploitation, as workers will now
have a real pathway to residency and better access to decent work."
"The decision is equally important to businesses that are struggling with both a nationwide labour shortage and
fragmented international supply chains".
Maga also said that the decision to simplify and streamline the application process will be a net positive.
"Delays in the visa variations applications for migrant workers changing employers, for example, have limited options
for both workers and employers. We support initiatives to streamline immigration processes."
"Our union represents migrant workers in a range of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, construction and
retail, and we will continue to support workers as they navigate their application processes."
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.