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Union wants local fishing worker quota

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/12/2016

More than 5000 jobs have been lost in the New Zealand fishing industry in the past decade, with most relocated to processing plants in Third World countries.

That's the contention by the union E tu in its submission on the Ministry of Primary Industries review document, the Future of our Fisheries.

The union wants regulations requiring 75 per cent of fishing industry staff at local fishing companies to be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Union spokesman Neville Donaldson says local processing and fishing is now done by migrants, because fishing companies can offer them minimum employment conditions "and they won't complain".

"This runs down employment standards for everyone," says Mr Neville.

Neville says fishing companies are always complaining they need migrants because local workers don't want jobs in the industry.

But, he says families can't live on the pay offered for working on boats or in local plants. Instead, migrants are being hired for minimum pay on temporary permits.

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