Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gastarbeiter

One thing I hated about Kuwait when I worked there in the mid-2000s was the use of migrant labour.  The local employers prefer to bring workers in from the Third World because they're much cheaper than local workers and can be mercilessly exploited because they're dependent on the employer for their visa. How I looked down on the uncivilised behaviour of these backward Muslims!  How unlike the home life of our own dear Queen!

Ten years later, the same shit's turned up here, where we have very few backward Muslims but apparently a great many equally-backward right-wingers. Their leader, one Bill English, claims that actually it's OK because NZ workers are lazy drug-addicts so local employers sadly have no choice but to bring in Third World labour (overseas readers may be astonished to learn that this lackwit English isn't the leader of some minor neo-fascist party, but the Prime Minister of New Zealand). 

The Prime Oaf offers only anecdotes for his claims about local workers, for the excellent reason that the data proves him wrong so mentioning it would be a bad idea.  The people benefiting from this adoption of Middle East practice are eagerly maintaining the supply of anecdotes, as witnessed by this story in Stuff:


Cross Country Recruitment managing director Ben De'Ath​ said that since December 4, 2016, 21 individual farm owners have contacted him seeking new staff because they have had to instantly dismiss staff due to failed drug tests for methamphetamine or cannabis.


The implication here is that staff have been sacked for being impaired by drugs at work. That implication is a lie - the staff have actually been sacked for failing a drug test showing they consumed a recreational drug in the last few days (methamphetamine) or the last month (cannabis). 

To get an idea of just how stupid that is, picture a regime in which employers and politicians must instantly be barred from their workplaces if random drug testing shows they consumed alcohol in the last few days, and union leaders were making speeches in which they claim we need to bring in employers and politicians from the Third World because locals clearly aren't up to the job.  It's a very, very painful level of stupid.

But surely Mr De'Ath isn't very, very stupid? Well no, he isn't.  He explains:


De'Ath said his company started to record why vacancies were arising in December because it helped make a case to Immigration New Zealand for foreign workers on behalf of farm owners.


Not stupid at all. Employers need the drug testing and the resulting anecdotes because it helps them make a case for replacing local workers with cheap, exploitable Third World labour.  Helping take New Zealand to the ethical level of Gulf Arab countries - that does actually seem like a suitable epitaph for the current government.

35 comments:

Johno said...

This post is just *so* wrong in *so many* ways.

"The implication here is that staff have been sacked for being impaired by drugs at work"

Rubbish. No such implication at all. It was quite clear that they were sacked for failing a drugs test. The employer has no choice under work safety laws. If the employer did not, and the employee was then injured or killed (farms are dangerous) then the employer and managers are personally liable and subject to quite severe penalties.

The comparison to ME migrant workers is nonsensical. Those poor buggers have no rights. Any immigrant working legally in NZ (as are the examples discussed) has exactly the same rights as a NZ worker.

The following is also silly:
"To get an idea of just how stupid that is, picture a regime in which employers and politicians must instantly be barred from their workplaces if random drug testing shows they consumed alcohol in the last few days"

... as the employers and pollies are presumably not operating in a hazardous environment.

The foreign workers are no cheaper than the locals. The locals just can't be stuffed or disqualify themselves.

Unemployement at around 5% is normal. There are that many in our cossetted society that are either irredeemably useless or just not interested.

Psycho Milt said...

It was quite clear that they were sacked for failing a drugs test. The employer has no choice under work safety laws.

So, we have a problem not with difficulties in exploiting Third World labour, but with stupid workplace safety laws causing people to lose their jobs for no good reason. Perhaps Mr De'Ath could more usefully direct his lobbying efforts to that?

...the employers and pollies are presumably not operating in a hazardous environment.

Some of the employers are farmers. Do they not work on their own farms? As for politicians, the phrase "drunk in charge of a country" has been apt on a number of occasions - sounds pretty hazardous to me.

The foreign workers are no cheaper than the locals.

And cars in New Zealand aren't driven faster than 100kph. There's as rich a supply of anecdotes about employers ripping off migrant workers as there is of NZ workers failing drug tests, but somehow the Prime Oaf doesn't consider those anecdotes worthy of spouting at TV reporters as though they were official statistics.

macdoctor said...

You had me quite intrigued by your post, PM, right up to the point where you referred to Meth as a "recreational drug". This demonstrated that you had no idea what you were talking about at all. I most certainly would not trust any employee who used Methamphetamine often enough to show up his/her urine. There is no "recreational" side to this dangerously addictive drug.

Psycho Milt said...

And a Muslim employer might not trust any employee who used the dangerous and addictive drug alcohol - so what? What counts is whether an employee is impaired at work, not whether you personally approve of their drug choices.

Meth users do tend to be on a downward spiral that won't be workplace-friendly, but where's Bill English's data on how many of the people who've failed these drug tests are meth users? Giving us anecdotes from your mates is fine for people blathering at each other down the pub - maybe English should have stuck to that.

Johnno said...

Meth never seemed to adversely affect one of the current MPs in her ministerial duties.

Ghost Of Greenwood said...

There is a lot of useless drug atrophied dross out there, but for the Double Dipper From Dipton to dismiss young NZ in the way he did was beyond the pale . . globalist nonce . . .

paul scott said...

Anything about Hitler Psicho/?

Paranormal said...

PM your post is wrong in so many ways. The main area around your ignorance of HSE requirements has been pointed out above.

What is left to point out is your defamatory allegation that English is a right winger. Certainly both English and thinking right wingers are deeply offended by this slur.

Psycho Milt said...

He's the religious-conservative leader of a party that promotes the interests of capital over labour. If your definition of "right-winger" excludes such people, you need to review your definition.

Re HSE, like I said above, if the government's stupid HSE requirements are making it hard to hire NZ workers, the answer isn't "make it easier to bring in Third World labour" unless you're either a complete imbecile, or being disingenuous. None of the politicians or employers involved are complete imbeciles.

Johno said...

Once again, PM, you are twisting the argument.

"the government's stupid HSE requirements are making it hard to hire NZ workers,"

No. It is making it hard to hire drug using workers of any nationality into hazardous jobs. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Paranormal said...

PM You really think the latest iteration of the National party really promote the interests of capital over labour? Seems to me they've pushed further into Liarbour's territory than ever before.

The Veteran said...

PM ... your bagging of English for telling it how it is shows just how much those on the dark side of the political divide live in a a caccoon totality divorced from reality. Take a trip up my way and I'll introduce you to a forest owner who could take on 30 workers immediately if they were (1) drug free and (2) prepared to work an 8-5 working day for VERY good wages .... for no takers. Why? Because a culture of state dependency along with a bit of wacky backey growing supplemented by some fisheries poaching has seen the work ethic breed out of a significant segment of our community.

Suma suma with the requirement to import labour to run the pack houses under the PI seasonal workers scheme.

You pretending reality isn't doesn't cut the mustard with me. English is right to make the point. Of course he's not referring to everyone. But in making the point he's right and you're wrong.

Noel said...

English is right to make the point. Of course he's not referring to everyone.

No he can't be.
Whats the stats? Less than 1% over three years.

Paranormal said...

Noel you're clearly another disconnected from reality of the NZ workplace. It was Mark Teain who said it bbest about your statistics.

Noel said...

I believe English was talkkng to the unemployed on the Government books.
Those stats are accurate for unemployed on WINZ books who failed drug tests.

Psycho Milt said...

No. It is making it hard to hire drug using workers of any nationality into hazardous jobs.

Just about every worker in the country uses drugs - mostly alcohol, but alcohol is a fucking dangerous one. What you're talking about is a bullshit scam in which someone who smoked a joint sometime in the last month gets sacked while borderline alcoholics continue in the hazardous job as long as they can manage not to be obviously impaired at work. That is a problem Bill English might usefully address, but won't.

Psycho Milt said...

PM ... your bagging of English for telling it how it is...

You mean, my bagging of English for bad-mouthing NZ workers via anecdotes that are not backed up by the official data he has at his fingertips? That's not him "telling it how it is," that's him "peddling dishonest propaganda on behalf of employers."

If Little were PM and spouting on to the media that several workers a week tell him NZ employers are ruthless exploiters, tax evaders and fraudsters, he'd have no trouble finding a few anecdotes to support it. If he did that, do you think he'd be "telling it like it is?"

Northland isn't New Zealand. And whatever problems Northland has, the answer isn't for Bill English to use them as anecdotes in a propaganda campaign to replace NZ workers with cheap and easily-exploitable Third Worlders.

Psycho Milt said...

PM You really think the latest iteration of the National party really promote the interests of capital over labour?

Did you read the post? It describes one of the many ways in which they're doing that.

The Veteran said...

PM ... thank you for telling me I don't live in NZL. That is about as offensive as me arguing that Mangere/Otara ain't part of NZ either.

We're bringing in labour because NZrs won't front and Noel, I'm not talking about people who fail drug tests and show up on the books as such ... I talking about those who won't front for a drug test because they know they'll fail ... mandatory drug testing for all beneficiaries receiving job seeker support anyone ... yeah, I can see that being endorsed by Labour/Greens/MP and a whole buch of civil libertarians.

You're not bad mouthing NZL by talking about a real problem. You are putting NZL down by pretending, ostrich like, that the problem doesn't exist.

Your comment about National promoting the interests of capital overt labour shows you haven't really moved on from from believing Das Kapital is the bible in drag.

Noel said...

" talking about those who won't front for a drug test because they know they'll fail"
You got some stats on that?

Psycho Milt said...

"Northland isn't New Zealand" just means the two aren't synonymous, it doesn't mean Northland isn't part of NZ.

We're bringing in labour because NZrs won't front...

They won't? Ten years ago we didn't need to bring in Third World labour, now apparently we do - so where's the data that describes this sudden collapse in capability of the NZ workforce? Bill English is the Prime Minister, so he'd have this data available to him if it existed, but he's had nothing to offer other than claims and anecdotes.

A sudden, dramatic collapse in capability of the NZ workforce over the last decade is highly unlikely, especially given the absence of evidence for it. What has changed in the last decade is that NZ now has a government that represents employers and is happy for them to replace their NZ workers with Third Worlders.

And if there are people out there who think National isn't the party of the employers, it just goes to show that you really can fool some of the people all of the time.

Paranormal said...

PM and Noel - when did you last employ a worker? I suspect the reason you have your views is that you are removed from the reality employers face every day.

I've hired 6 people in the past year. Only two were Kiwis.

The worst hire I've made was a few years back. The individual fronted up and interviewed ok. She was a disaster after that and lasted three weeks. If we'd had drug testing at the time we would have picked she was a meth head and wouldn't have faced the problems she created.

Noel said...

Ok how many of the 6 were sent by WINZ.

Anonymous said...

How long since you had a drug test Milt?

Your stridency could appear to the untrained eye like a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of not passing one.

Mick

The Veteran said...

Noel ... my forestry employer acquaintance tells me that in the three, repeat three years he has been registered with WINZ wanting forestry workers he has had only nine referrals of which he has hired five. His comment is that once potential employees are told a drug test is mandatory as a condition of hiring they suddenly develop all sorts of reasons why the job ain't for them.

Others front up off the street and are hired but he has a shortfall. How those stats play out nation wide we will never know but I stand by my original post.

FYI ... when Labour came to power in 2000 unemployment was 6.1%. It is currently 5.8% and over the last 16 years has averaged 5.3%. From that it appears we have an institutionalised unemployment rate of around 5%. Are you seriously telling me they all want to work and that welfare dependency, with its myriad of causes, ain't an issue ... get real.

Psycho Milt said...

I suspect the reason you have your views is that you are removed from the reality employers face every day.

How is that reality different from the reality employers faced ten years ago, and what evidence other than personal anecdote is there for that altered reality? Of course employers will take a cheaper, tougher, harder-working labour force if it's made available to them - that's a given. At issue is whether doing that is good for the country or not - the fact that it's good for the employer is a given. I don't need to be an employer to know that, any more than Nat voters needed to be union members themselves to know that Cook Strait ferry stewards calling a strike every school holidays wasn't a good thing.

Psycho Milt said...

Your stridency could appear to the untrained eye like a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of not passing one.

Right, because it's just inconceivable that someone might hate seeing a NZ government turning its back on skills-based immigration policy and adopting the kind of practices seen in the Middle East. Who could possibly object to that?

To answer your question: for me, recreational drug use other than alcohol pretty much stopped when I had kids in the 1990s.

Psycho Milt said...

...once potential employees are told a drug test is mandatory as a condition of hiring they suddenly develop all sorts of reasons why the job ain't for them.

Suppose the drug test showed whether alcohol had been consumed in the last month - how many employees would he have then? One, if he was lucky?

The Veteran said...

PM ... straw man argument. Alcohol is not an illegal drug ... although in some employment contracts I have seen turning up to work 'pissed' can constitute grounds for instant dismissal. OTOH 'meth' et al is.

Psycho Milt said...

So what? This drug testing is supposedly about workplace safety, not how closely someone's following the law.

The Veteran said...

PM ... I'm talking about New Zealanders not wanting to work ... and a reason for that.
Your point?

Noel said...

Most recent stats I could find.
Nationally,in 2014 there were 4822 people citing substance abuse as their primary reason for not BEING ABLE to work, with 5098 in the 2013 year.

Anonymous said...

Noel
2015
ww.stuff.co.nz/national/70405113/beneficiaries-increasingly-failing-drug-tests-numbers-show

Gerald said...

"...my forestry employer acquaintance tells me that in the three, repeat three years he has been registered with WINZ wanting forestry workers he has had only nine referrals of which he has hired five.

Can you ask him of the four who failed how many failed the drugs test or was it for other reasons?

If for other reasons is that evidence that WINZ is weeding, pun intended, out the known stoners?

Psycho Milt said...

Veteran: OK, so apparently we have a situation in Northland in which large numbers of people don't want to work, and the fact that drug testing picks up cannabis use anytime in the last month works out very conveniently for them because they all smoke cannabis.

At the same time, we have a situation in which many people who want to work, but occasionally smoke cannabis, are finding that they can't get a job because of that joint they had the other weekend.

I fully agree that those are situations the government needs to do something about. A competent government would review the drug testing regime to see if the current approach was doing more harm than good and should be replaced with tests for actual impairment on the job; however, an incompetent government, or one in thrall to vested interests, might just use these situations as bogus justification for allowing employers to replace NZ workers with Third World migrant labour. So, given English's comments, the only question is whether the current government is incompetent or in thrall to vested interests - or both.