Tackle massive crisis facing OFWs in New Zealand | Inquirer Opinion

Tackle massive crisis facing OFWs in New Zealand

/ 05:01 AM April 18, 2024

Nearly four months after hundreds of Filipino workers lost jobs when labor hire giant ELE went into receivership, our worst fear is happening now: Every week, dozens of Filipino workers are seeking assistance to avail of emergency financial aid from the Philippine government. Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand has been calling on the Philippine and New Zealand governments to avoid another ELE mess but it seems that they just allow labor hire and recruitment agencies to keep spreading false promises of jobs in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Philippines President Marcos and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon can do better to ensure Filipinos in New Zealand will not be out of work and left in limbo. With Luxon set to meet Mr. Marcos, they should be talking more about their state responsibility to investigate and stop the labor hire practice of recruiting hundreds of Filipino laborers that results in an oversupply of labor and leaving the Filipinos in insecure jobs and below 40 guaranteed hours.

Hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in New Zealand are voicing their concerns about widespread redundancies, limited working hours (often 30 hours or less), and the resulting struggle to make ends meet. Despite coming to New Zealand for work opportunities, many find themselves facing financial hardship due to the low guaranteed hours and insufficient work provided by labor-hire companies. These challenges are turning hard-working OFWs into the working poor of New Zealand.

We have seen the extreme hardships of displaced ELE workers and many others in similar situations. Migrante Aotearoa reiterates the call for Mr. Marcos to immediately instruct the Department of Migrant Workers, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and all relevant agencies to fast-track the release of emergency aid for the families of displaced OFWs in New Zealand and all our distressed compatriots around the world.

Mikee Santos, chair, Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand

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TAGS: ELE, New Zealand, ofws

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