Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Taking the piss

While the borders are closed, employers can still get visas for "essential" workers. But some of the jobs deemed "essential" don't seem to be:

Applications were approved for 633 different jobs ranging from low skilled roles including taxi driver, cafe worker and cleaner, through to highly skilled jobs such as paediatrician, aircraft engineer and chemical engineer.

The visa approvals come at the same time as many New Zealanders are finding themselves out of work as a result of Covid-19’s impact on businesses and the economy.

Taxi drivers, cafe workers and cleaners. And the longer list includes things like bank workers, accounts clerks, call centre operators and bus drivers (and that's just the first few pages). As with the shortage of rural agricultural workers, its hard to escape the conclusion that the reason no kiwis are available to fill these roles is because we won't accept the terrible pay and conditions offered, and the problem isn't so much a "skills shortage" as a shortage of people willing to work for the wages these cheapskates are prepared to pay.

These employers are simply taking the piss and looking for a licence for exploitation: someone they can threaten to deport if they don't accept whatever shit is offered. And the government is aiding and abetting them in this by giving them access to migrant labour, which is functioning purely as a regulatory subsidy. Its time that stopped. Outside of a few areas of genuine shortage, if you can't find workers in a market economy, then the answer is to offer more. And if employers aren't willing to do that, then they deserve to go bankrupt.