FIRST Union – which represents employees across multiple industries – made the allegations yesterday as it disputed John Key’s assertion that immigration is needed to fill jobs that New Zealanders are too lazy to perform.
“Employers who prefer migrant workers over local workers often do so out of greed,” said FIRST Union general secretary Robert Reid.
“Everyone is entitled to work, but many employers know that competition between local workers and migrant workers helps keep wages low,” he continued.
In fact, Reid claimed the reality can even be more “brutal” than just encouraging competition.
“In siviculture, an industry that relies on migrant workers from the Pacific, we know of government audits that found most employers in the industry were out right under-paying workers in one way or another,’ he said.
“This kind of exploitation can happen because the system is rigged with many migrant workers coerced into silence for fear of losing their visas and their right to work and support their families,” he continued.
“John Key is wrong about working people. His low wage, low skill migration policy is excluding local workers and leading to the exploitation of migrant workers,” said Reid.
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Employer greed, not worker laziness, is driving record immigration numbers – that’s the outlandish claim from one Kiwi union this week.