The union for workers in the Christchurch rebuild generally approves of changes announced today to work visas for skilled migrants, extending them from one year to three.
“This gives migrant workers who are coming to a new country and participating in a hugely important rebuild project to have more job security, training, and protection from exploitation,” says Ron Angel, EPMU Construction organiser.
“Currently, migrant workers are vulnerable to mistreatment from cowboy operators exploiting 90-day trials to make a quick buck off the backs of construction workers. This change should help those workers.
“There are some issues which concern us. Housing is already stretched thin in Christchurch and MBIE estimates another 5,000 workers will be needed. There must be provision for everyone in the city to have safe, secure housing.
“We are also interested in the changes to accreditation for labour hire companies. There has been a massive increase in the number of these companies operating in Christchurch since the quakes. Their entire focus is temporary, short-term work, so it will be interesting to see how they demonstrate a commitment to training and upskilling workers.”
For more information contact:
Ron Angel, EPMU Construction industry organiser: 0275 910 055
Stephanie Rodgers, EPMU communications officer: 022 269 1170