ILO reviews seasonal schemes in NZ and Australia

The report "Seasonal worker schemes in the Pacific through the lens of international human rights and labour standards" also reveals that other Pacific islanders on the New Zealand RSE scheme earn less money than Samoans doing the same work.

Samoans in New Zealand earned the highest money at $AUD1,093 per week with the Fijians raking in the lowest rate of Pacific Island workers at $AUD736 per week.

The tables are turned in Australia though with Fijians earning the highest at $AUD1,138 per week and Vanuatu workers are paid the lowest at $AUD834 per week said the report.

ILO welcomes seafarers' rights agreement amid pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers, including Pacific Islanders, have been trapped for months on ships across the globe due to ongoing travel restrictions.

The ILO has welcomed a joint statement signed by more than a dozen countries that gives seafarers enhanced rights as key workers.

The new measures, also supported by other UN agencies and international organizations, enable seafarers to be repatriated and move more freely during the pandemic.

Negative growth forecast for Samoan economy due to impact of COVID-19

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said, “while Samoa and most of the Pacific have been spared from the virus so far, we are already feeling the impacts on our small economies.”

He made the statement at the International Labour Organisation Global Leaders Day Virtual Summit, yesterday (Tuesday).

PM Tuilaepa said the COVID-19 situation also came as Samoa was still responding and recovering from another health crisis – the 2019 measles epidemic that took 83 lives and affected over 5,000 people.

'Bleak picture' for Pacific workers and employers, says International Labour Organisation

Tens of thousands of Pacific workers have already either lost their jobs or were on reduced hours.

Elena Gerasimova, from the ILO's Pacific office, said the organisation received requests for support from workers, employers and small to medium businesses.

"There are lots of complications, problems and challenges for workers, employers and governments because there is a serious, very serious impact of the Covid-19 on their employment and on economies.

"Lots of companies are closed while many companies may become bankrupt and people are losing their jobs."

ILO warns Vanuatu tax reforms could hurt vulnerable

There's already widespread opposition in Vanuatu for the new tax plan which aims to introduce among other things income tax and corporate tax by July next year.

RNZI reports the ILO's regional wage expert Daniel Kostzer said a recently released review of the proposed tax plan shows government had done a lot more consultations on the proposed reforms but it had failed to take most of the concerns raised into consideration.

Fiji avoids ILO inquiry into labour rights

An international Commission of Inquiry had been threatened by the United Nations body over a long-running dispute between the government and unions over the country's labour laws.

ILO still working towards successful Fiji mission despite concerns

The mission to review obstacles to a required joint implementation plan is due in Fiji this month and comes after the country's unions refused to sign the plan over concerns the government was infringing workers' right