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CTU: Day Of Shame For NZ International Reputation

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
CTU: Day Of Shame For NZ International Reputation

"The New Zealand Governments decision to vote against the establishment of an international labour convention to establish fundamental rights for Domestic Workers at the International Labour Organisation exposes either a basic lack of respect for human decency or a misunderstanding of the plight of those that work in the domestic sector in many countries", CTU President Helen Kelly said today.

The ILO has been debating the setting of a standard for the employment of Domestic Workers at this year's conference which is currently taking place at the ILO in Geneva. Workers in the sector are well represented at the meeting and their stories alongside the governments of countries that both supply domestic labour and import domestic labour would move any but the hardest of government parties.

In New Zealand domestic workers are covered by all basic employment laws and our reputation as an upholder of basic labour standards and human rights is recognised at the ILO level.

"To come along this year and vote to deny domestic workers in other countries a chance for their working lives to be improved and to vote alongside countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait for a Recommendation over a Convention (which would has no review or supervisory mechanisms) and opposite to the way countries such as the USA, Australia, the UK, Philippines and Brazil voted, damages our reputation and is hard to understand", Helen Kelly said.

"Luckily there were sufficient Governments in the room that want to improve the plight of these most vulnerable and mainly women workers and the vote to effectively establish a Convention for Domestic Workers was passed. New Zealand union delegate at the meeting, Andrew Little reported that there were audible gasps when the NZ Government cast its vote and that he is now busy answering difficult questions about what would drive a Government of a country such as his to vote to deny this positive development. He is unable to easily answer these questions which are best answered by the Ministers of Labour, Foreign Affairs, Women's Affairs and Trade.

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