Greens call for decent working conditions for all horticulture workers

The Green Party is calling on the Government to ensure all people working in horticulture are paid liveable wages and have access to quality accommodation.

“While the Government’s move to require employers to pay a living wage to RSE workers is a step in the right direction, the rights for local workers and the broader structural issues within the horticultural industry remain unaddressed,” said Green Party Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Jan Logie.

“We are particularly concerned about growing inequities for local horticulture workers, as well as migrant workers stranded here because of the pandemic, who continue to be on minimum wage contracts.

“This is another reason the Government needs to move quickly on Fair Pay Agreements and ensure industry planning includes a workforce perspective.

“We have heard that some companies in the horticulture industry may be using potentially unlawful, casual contracts for local and migrant workers that are not in the RSE category. These contracts without an end date can result in workers not having guaranteed hours or pay during rainy days. The industry needs to be providing fair, fixed term contracts with guaranteed hours.

“It is concerning that the Government is subsidising a $10 billion dollar industry to provide worker accommodation. It should be the industry’s own responsibility to provide decent conditions for its workers, including accommodation if they need it.”

Green Party Pacific Peoples spokesperson Teanau Tuiono said: “New Zealand has a long history of exploiting horticulture workers from the Pacific. Requiring higher wages for some RSE workers and not for Pacific workers already in New Zealand downplays the important contributions of Pacific horticulture workers who are already working here.”

Green Party Social Development and Employment spokesperson Ricardo Menendez March said: “Providing year-long employment in the horticulture industry is possible. The Government should be taking a more proactive approach to connecting horticulture workers to employers, to guarantee year-long employment.

“All horticulture workers deserve decent wages, safe working conditions and quality accommodation.”

ENDS

Latest Pacific Peoples Announcements

Story

Govt must extend Samoa visa changes to all Pacific countries

Thanks to Green Party pressure, visitors from Samoa can soon travel to Aotearoa without a visa – a right that should be extended to every Pacific c...
Read More

Story

Greens call on Govt to grant visa waiver status to all Pacific countries

The Green Party is calling on the Government to change visa settings to allow people visiting Aotearoa from the Pacific Islands to do so without ha...
Read More

Story

Indigenous self-determination key to unlocking better future

Data released today by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative shows why land must be returned to tangata whenua, the Green Party says. 
Read More

Story

RSE expansion stops short of what’s needed

Today’s expansion of the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) fails to guarantee Pacific people traveling to Aotearoa for work a warm place to...
Read More

Story

Serious questions for Govt to answer following decision to allow deep-sea mining

The Government has questions to answer following a recent decision by international regulators to give the green-light to a potentially destructive...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome review of RSE, but urge Govt to start right now

The Green Party says the Government is right to carry out a full review of the Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) scheme - but says the review sho...
Read More

Latest Workplace Relations and Safety Announcements

Story

Social workers need to see pay equity immediately

The Green Party is welcoming today’s announcement that pay equity will be extended to more social workers, and urges the Government to work with un...
Read More

Story

Fair pay agreements huge step towards fairer future

The Green Party is celebrating a landmark change in the law that will ensure more people are paid what they deserve. 
Read More

Story

Groundhog Day for pay transparency

Labour is asking for the exact same advice on pay transparency that a Green Minister first asked for five years ago.
Read More

Story

Pacific people need immediate action to boost pay

The Government should ensure the Fair Pay Agreements Bill is passed as soon as possible,  immediately introduce pay transparency legislation and ra...
Read More

Story

Greens back uni strikes and call on Hipkins to bring sector to the table

The Green Party is calling on the Minister of Education to bring the tertiary education sector together so we can urgently improve the pay and cond...
Read More

Story

No excuses, Minister: we need mandatory pay gap reporting right now

The message is loud and clear: the Government must introduce mandatory pay gap reporting
Read More

Latest Social Development Announcements

Story

Greens welcome childcare support, call for more action

The Green Party is welcoming the modest support for families announced by the Labour Government but calling for more urgent action to ease the pres...
Read More

Story

Benefit stats show urgent need to wipe Work and Income debt

The Government needs to clear the debt that MSD has forced hundreds of thousands of low income people to take on and immediately lift benefits, say...
Read More

Story

Welfare support must keep pace with inflation

The tools exist to lift every family out of poverty – and as costs continue to rise it is more urgent than ever that we use them, the Green Party s...
Read More

Story

Decent work, not sanctions

The Green Party is calling for a cross-party commitment to guaranteeing at least a living wage and safe working conditions to people seeking employ...
Read More

Story

Welfare is about support, not sanctions

The Greens are the only party with a comprehensive plan to support people on low incomes so everyone in and out of work has enough to make ends mee...
Read More

Story

Mana in Mahi must guarantee liveable incomes

The Government’s employment initiatives led by the Ministry of Social Development must guarantee liveable incomes and fair working conditions, the ...
Read More