The private sector and the unemployed in New Zealand
The Forced Labour Convention, 1930, Article Two, states that:
|"For the purposes of this convention the term "forced or compulsory
labour shall mean all work or service which is exacted from any person
under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not
offered himself voluntarily"
That the Community Wage legislation will breach the provisions of the Forced Labour
Convention, 1930, can be seen by reference to the media release of the Minister of
Employment. It is available as a link from the Home Page.
Article Four of the Convention states that:
|"The competent authority shall not impose or permit the imposition
of forced or compulsory labour for the benefit of private
individuals, companies or associations."
Despite the fact that the people of New Zealand through their elected representatives
ratified this convention on 29 March 1938, the current Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon
Winston Peters, has made and continues to make, statements that refer to the unemployed being
made to work against their will in, for example, rest homes.
The majority of rest homes in New Zealand are privately owned.
The current Minister of Employment, the Hon Peter McArdle has made statements to the effect
that community organisations may benefit from the use of the the unemployed under the
Community Wage scheme.
The use of forced labour by private community organisations is expressly prohibited under
Article Four of the convention.
In fact it is Article Nine of the Unemployment Provision Convention, 1934, also ratified by
New Zealand on 29 March 1938, that gives the "competent authority" the right to force the
unemployed to work but only on;
|" . . . relief works organised by a public authority."
(The italics are those of the Centre.)
In at least one case the Government's New Zealand Employment Service is acting in conjunction
with a private community organisation to use the employed on the already existing Taskforce
Green scheme. This scheme is also compulsory and carries penalties should an unemployed
person choose to not work.
Newspaper advertisement for funding the unemployed in the private sector. here
Letter sent to funding organisation. here