22 Sep 2011

Cooks minister says foreign workers' complaints rare

7:00 am on 22 September 2011

The Cook Islands Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Tom Marsters, says official complaints from foreign workers about their working conditions are isolated.

The Deputy Opposition Leader Wilkie Rasmussen says foreign workers, mostly from Fiji, are becoming more vocal about their working conditions and the government needs to tighten employment rules.

Mr Marsters says there's no doubt of the need for new laws.

He says the Employment Relations Bill is now at the consultation stage and a special committee has been set up to review immigration policy.

"These complaints have been lodged with the Immigration Department. I'm aware of those. These are some of the issues that we will look at in (terms of) how we can strengthen our own laws to ensure that these foreign workers are not treated in a harsh way by their employers."

Tom Marsters says the situation for foreign workers is among a whole raft of immigration issues to be reviewed.