5 Nov 2011

Asian farm workers demand better conditions

2:37 pm on 5 November 2011

A new group is aiming to improve the working conditions of Asian workers on New Zealand farms.

The Filipino Dairy Workers Association has more than 400 members, mostly in the Ashburton and wider Canterbury area.

Filipino dairy worker Sam Bruzo told Country Life disagreements about working and living conditions were common.

He said Asian farm workers were sometimes asked to put up with pay and living conditions New Zealand employees would not tolerate, and were at the mercy of employers.

In one case, a farmer refused to sign off the resignation of a farm worker, which got the person into trouble.

Mr Bruzo said farmers now knew that in cases where such workers were exploited, someone was prepared to report them to the authorities.