13 Feb 2012

Vanuatu union leader speaks of new style of

7:45 pm on 13 February 2012

A Vanuatu union leader says the government should involve unions in the recruitment of workers on overseas work schemes to avoid their exploitation.

The Secretary-General of the Vanuatu National Workers Union, Ephraim Kalsakau, says he is not surprised to learn of the recent return of 30 workers from Australia.

The workers left their jobs on a farm in Victoria because of a contractual dispute.

Mr Kalsakau says it is the government's duty to give those recruited for work in Australia and New Zealand all the necessary information to make sure their rights are not infringed.

"A lot of our ni-Vans in the rural areas know next to nothing about their legal rights so we could say this is blackbirding in a different light."

Mr Kalsakau says unions should be involved at the time of recruitment.