21 Jul 2010

New Zealand union wants RSE workers' rights spelt out

4:21 pm on 21 July 2010

The Service and Food Workers Union in New Zealand is calling for Pacific workers on the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme to be given more clarity on their work conditions and their rights under local labour laws.

The union's national secretary, John Ryall, says they're aware some workers' rights are infringed by some of the contractors who bring them in as short term horticultural labourers.

But he says neither the Labour Department nor unions have the resources to check on the welfare of all RSE workers.

He says the RSE programme is due for review next month and the union is calling for seasonal workers to be given a more detailed employment agreement outlining all their rights and entitlements.

"We're saying that there is room here for exploitation unless there is transparency of employment conditions, including accommodation, and other factors such as that."

John Ryall of New Zealand's Service and Food Workers Union.