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Migrant construction workers must not be left in limbo – First Union

FIRST Union, the union that looks after migrant workers in the construction industry through the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG), is calling on central Government to intervene in the ELE Group receivership, where around 500 workers with temporary visas will be affected.

FIRST Union General Secretary, Dennis Maga, says the union wants the Government to urgently address immigration policy and allow these migrant workers to be absorbed by other construction firms as long as these companies are accredited (via an Accredited Employer Work Visa).

“This would be a welcoming Christmas gift to these workers, and this move would alleviate their fear of losing jobs while their families struggle in their countries of origin,” said Mr Maga.

“These migrants are contributing to the NZ economy and should be allowed to continue working rather than being left in limbo just before the new year.”

Mr Maga said that FIRST Union is also calling on the Government to review the labour market in the construction industry, where hundreds of migrant builders have been recruited from overseas but have ended up without jobs in NZ.

“This reflects poor labour market planning and a lack of consultation with stakeholders in the industry,” said Mr Maga.

“The receivership of ELE reflects such poor labour market planning, and there could be other firms to follow if unemployment in the construction industry continues.”


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