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Pacific labour mobility meeting missing key ingredient – the voices of working people

A meeting on Pacific labour mobility in New Zealand this week has a glaring omission – the voices of organised labour, the NZ Council of Trade Unions said today.

The inaugural Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting gets underway in Christchurch today.  It is taking place ahead of a Ministerial meeting of the Pacer Plus trade and investment talks.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions wrote to the New Zealand Minister of Trade seeking representation for SPOCTU (South Pacific Oceanic Council of Trade Unions), NZCTU and ACTU but was declined.

“It is not possible to achieve a good outcome for pacific workers without the voices of these workers at the table,” CTU secretary Sam Huggard said.  “Inviting unions and civil society to a cocktail function only is not on.”

“People are not commodities and the NZCTU does not support immigration being linked to trade and investment agreements. 

The NZCTU has endorsed “Defending Pacific Ways of Life: A Social Impact Assessment of PACER-Plus”, a social impact assessment of Pacer Plus carried out for the Pacific Network on Globalisation.

“We stand with other pacific unions and with civil society in calling for a thorough assessment of the impact of Pacer Plus on pacific countries.