21 Oct 2005

Union backs call for labour mobility across Pacific

10:37 am on 21 October 2005

A New Zealand trade union educator working in the Pacific backs the call for the temporary movement of labour but says the workers need to be given the same legal protections as the domestic workers.

The temporary mobility of labour from island countries into Australia and New Zealand is shaping to be a key debate when regional leaders consider the Pacific Plan on greater regional cooperation next week.

Island countries are actively pursuing the idea while the Australian and New Zealand Governments are dismissive of it.

Mike Ingpen of the South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Unions says its a good scheme but the correct laws need to be put in place.

"The Core International Labour Organisation Standards, which has come out of the Cotonou Agreement, Article 50 of the Cotonou Agreement, and what I'd be wanting to see, is that rolling out throughout the Pacific, education programmes, and a commitment by the governments to actually adhere to those."