FIJIAN HOTEL WORKERS CLAIM SERVITUDE IN COOKS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 9) - Cook Islands Director
of Labour, David Greig, says wild allegations about the working conditions of
immigrant employees are not true.

A group of Fijian immigrants employed in hotels and motels have
claimed they were being forced to work very long hours, in one case from 7 a.m.
to 9 p.m., as well as encountering verbal and physical abuse.

David Greig says he’s investigated the allegations and
although long hours are worked, there are verbal contracts in place which state
that anything above 40 hours goes towards paying for their accommodation and
food.

Greig says he’s discussed the problem with the immigration
authorities and now wants to see written contracts put in place.

"It's very difficult to monitor the employment issues that
are happening, at the workplace, so I have endorsed to the immigration authority
to include the Employment Contract as part of the criteria for consideration to
issue a work permit to any foreign workers."

Greig is not pursuing any prosecution against the motel.

September 9, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/ 

 

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