Filipino immigrants keep jobs in New Zealand
M & C
Monsters and Critics
Apr 2, 2009, 6:56 GMT
Wellington – Six Filipino immigrants will keep their jobs at a New Zealand factory despite a row that broke out after 28 local workers were made redundant, news reports said Thursday.
The immigrants were recruited by MCK Metals Pacific Ltd of Bell Block in Taranaki province in October 2007 to do specialized aluminium welding and polishing after the company was unable to get skilled New Zealand workers to fill the vacancies.
A row erupted last week when it was revealed that because of the year-old economic recession in the country, 28 local workers had been laid off while the Filipinos kept their jobs.
The Immigration Department, which had given them temporary permits to work as welders, had granted a variation of conditions to allow them to do other jobs in the factory.
When the story broke in a local newspaper after a sacked local worker complained to the government, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman sought an explanation from his department.
He said Thursday that officials would not have approved the change had they known that the company was considering redundancies at the time.
Coleman said the variation of conditions had been withdrawn, meaning the Filipinos could only work as specialist welders, but the TV3 channel cited the company as saying they would not have to leave because new orders had come in to create an extra 24 jobs.
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