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DFA looking into reported exploitation of Filipino workers in New Zealand

/ 09:14 PM August 28, 2018

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said that the Philippine Embassy in Wellington is currently looking into the reported exploitation of Filipino workers in New Zealand.

In a statement, the DFA said the embassy is coordinating with Migrante Aotearoa and New Zealand trade unions to address the various concerns of Filipino workers in New Zealand.

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A study, commissioned by New Zealand trade union E Tū Union and funded by the Industrial Relations Fund, was recently reported by RadioNZ. It recorded the experiences of mostly migrant workers from the Philippines in Christchurch and Auckland, the difficulties they encounter, and what steps could be taken to improve their working conditions.

According to the study, Filipino construction workers were being paid $16 to $19 per hour on average, which is way lower than their native co-workers whose wages were around $35 per hour.

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The study also found that deductions were made from some Filipino workers’ wages which “appear to be illegal.”

The Filipino workers “sometimes do not start work until after they have been in New Zealand for a month and might not be paid for a further month…irrespective of what their contracts state,” the report said.

The DFA noted that Ambassador Jesus Gary Domingo engaged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and other relevant New Zealand agencies to look into crucial matters on migrant employment, workers’ rights and their fair treatment in New Zealand, pastoral care, and access to correct mechanisms and appropriate support agencies.

The embassy has also been in close coordination with the New Zealand government on the reported exploitation of Filipino students, the DFA added. /ee

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, Filipinos in New Zealand, Philippine Embassy in Wellington, Philippine News
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