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Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand

The Maritime Union is backing the Social Unemployment Insurance Scheme agreed between Government, Business New Zealand, and the Council of Trade Unions.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the scheme supports workers when they need help the most, and delivers security to families and communities across New Zealand.

The maritime industry was an essential industry and its members worked in high risk areas.

“This is a volatile industry and Social Insurance will provide welcome support to workers who through no fault of their own lose jobs.”

Mr Harrison says the scheme will be a good stepping stone to creating greater security for workers, which must include those in low-wage, precarious and casualized jobs.

He says casualization and precarious work is a major problem in the maritime industry and many essential industries and it was important there was further reform to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation and insecurity.

“Many essential workers are underpaid and have poor conditions of work, and are extremely vulnerable to redundancy.”

Mr Harrison says that Social Unemployment Insurance is urgent and we need to put it in place now before the next cycle of restructuring and redundancies occur.

In the maritime industry, the extra protection afforded by the potential illness cover will also provide peace of mind to workers, he says.

The Government consultation on the scheme runs until 26 April 2022.