PNG not ready to sign PACER Plus as Pacific seasonal workers exploited in Aus

2 March 2016

Papua New Guinea has said it is not ready to sign the Pacer Plus trade deal between Pacific Island nations, Australia and New Zealand.

PNG’s statement comes after more than six years of negotiations and despite the agreement being scheduled for signing in June this year. 

Adam Wolfenden from the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) speaks to ABC Radio about why PNG’s stance makes sense. Listen to the interview here

 Meanwhile, both Pacific Island and Australian unions have been concerned about workers’ rights in seasonal worker schemes in the context of the Pacer Plus negotiations.

See recent media revelations that a group of Pacific Island workers in Australia on the Seasonal Worker Program were receiving as little as $60 a week after deductions.

Seasonal worker arrangements should include protections for workers’ rights, obligations on employers and regulation of migration agents and labour hire companies to prevent exploitation.