THE Philippine Embassy in Wellington witnessed the signing of a “landmark deal” with New Zealand employers to ensure protection of Filipino workers, particularly in the construction sector.
New Zealand recruitment agency ExtraStaff Management Ltd., the FIRST Union-Union Network of Migrants, and the Embassy on May 3 signed the Fair Labour Migrant Agreement (FLMA), The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported in a statement, Wednesday.
FIRST Union General Secretary Dennis Maga said in a statement: “This is a landmark deal that sets a precedent for other companies to follow and we invite more to do so. I believe this agreement will be monumental in the construction industry.”
According to the FIRST Union, Mr. Maga said the agreement includes a repatriation clause to ensure the protection of workers. The agreement is also aimed at sparing workers from incurring extra living costs.
FIRST Union has over 27,000 members across New Zealand engaged in retail, finance, transport, logistics, and manufacturing, among other industries.
For his part, Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus S. Domingo said in a statement, “This is a ‘win-win-win’ agreement, which underscores the gains from the tripartite collaboration among the stakeholders and the Filipino migrants.”
“While this agreement is very Kiwi, it is also very Filipino, as it upholds the principle of ‘fairness,’ a Kiwi attribute, and ensures that the ‘family,’ which is at the heart of every Filipino migrant worker, continues to be provided for.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan