Sealord’s actions bad for workers and regional economies

The constant drive to cut costs by diverting work to workers from other countries leaves New Zealand workers increasingly vulnerable, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

Sealord confirmed it will cut 70 factory jobs, 11 office-based jobs and another 30 contract workers at its Nelson wetfish factory. A significant number of the company's onshore jobs in Nelson could end up being carried out by Russians on Sealord's Ukrainian flagged vessels.

"The loss of another 111 jobs from Sealord in Nelson is the latest example of businesses using cheaper foreign labour while local economies shrink," said Ms Roche.

"Sealord's actions show just how vulnerable New Zealand's regional economies are.

"Sealord and the other companies that export fish to China and other countries for further processing are wasting lives and economic potential, and the Government need to start looking at how to stop the slide.

"Sealord's actions for short term gain misses the bigger picture regarding sustainably managing New Zealand's declining fishing stocks.

"The current Quota Management System needs to be rejigged to a no waste sustainable fishing model with increased stocks and collectively managed marketing.

"Alternatives to the current slash and burn approach in our fishing industry need to be urgently looked into so that our fish stocks and workers are protected," Ms Roche said.

"Our local resources should support work in our regions."