There’s been some good news over the weekend, with the government announcing tougher penalties for people found to be exploiting migrant workers.
There’s been a lot of coverage of this in recent weeks, including stories that workers in Auckland are being paid as little as $4 an hour, or exploited by the firms that bring them in from overseas.
So it’s good to see the government tackling this. A significant part of the story of inequality is that many people work in industries where there are very few protections for them as workers. These moves start to tackle that – as long as they are properly resourced, of course. One of the lessons of Pike River is that it’s hard to protect people and enforce standards if there aren’t enough inspectors to do the work.