Thursday, June 17, 2021
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Unions To Present Pathways To Residency Petition To MPs On Monday 2pm At Unite Union Office


Unite Union and the Migrant Workers Association will
present a 15,000-strong petition at 2pm on Monday, May 10,
to a both a Green and Labour Party MP at their offices at 6a
Western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland.

Green MP
and Immigration spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March and
Labour MP Marja Lubeck who chairs the Education and
Workforce Select Committee of Parliament, will both receive
the petition.

Unite U8nion advocate Mike Treen said
that “the petition essentially calls on the government to
use the Covid crisis as an opportunity to fix long-standing
problems associated with New Zealand’s temporary migration
system. Pre-Covid New Zealand had over 300,000 people here
on temporary work visas. But many of these visa holders had
been sold a promise that they would get residency eventually
that New Zealand had failed to follow through on. In fact in
the last three years it has been made much more
difficult.

“But these workers now play an essential
role in the economy and cannot be replaced in the post-Covid
world. It makes sense from an economic and social justice
standpoint to allow them to transition to residency if they
want to.

“A few thousands more have also overstayed
visas and should be given an amnesty to allow them to stay
as well. Again most of these workers were brought here on
false promises and many have been subject to cruel
exploitation. They have been forced to overstay their visas
as a consequence so they can pay back the costs of coming
here and to provide for their families back home.

“All
of these workers have proven they are able to work hard and
contribute to rebuilding New Zealand in the still
Covid-plaugued world. It is cruel and inhumane to be
arresting, jailing and deporting people at this
time.

“We have run this petition online but have also
got thousands of people to sign at public events and in
workplaces. There is an obvious broad, public sympathy for
the proposal.

“We need an amnesty and pathways to
residency now,” said Mike
Treen

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