As demand for seasonal labour grows, Labour Commissioner highlights need for vigilance against fake recruiters

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers Gilbert Massi and Michel Ulas picking apples at Vernview farm, Victoria, Australia. Photo: APAL/David and Sue Finger

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers Gilbert Massi and Michel Ulas picking apples. Photo: APAL

With the tenth anniversary of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme coming up in April, Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat is using the opportunity to call on all RSE agents to Read the rest of this entry »

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Salwai Govt’s consultative approach to community development pays off with Ambrym airport decision

Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai. Photo: ITU

Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai. Photo: ITU

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MSG members to meet on 20th December to discuss West Papua’s membership

Supporters of full membership of MSG for West Papua demonstrate in Port Vila last April. Photo: AWPA

Vanuatu supporters of West Papua full membership of MSG marching in Port Vila last April. Photo: AWPA


December 20 is now proposed as the date for the MSG Leaders Summit to discuss membership, especially West Papua’s. The meeting was postponed from the first week of October in Port Vila. The new DG Amena Yauvoli told Kizzy Kalsakau of Buzz FM Nightly News that the date awaits confirmation from MSG Leaders. The MSG Secretariat is simply awaiting a consensus on the date. (Daily Post)

The People’s Plan as outlined yesterday on this website has been under discussion today in the National Convention Centre. This National Development Plan is to cover the period from Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu offers seasonal workers to help fill agricultural labour gap in Tasmania

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia's southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia’s southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

Tasmania is interested in seasonal workers from Vanuatu and the southern Australian island state seems poised to take advantage of this. A delegation has called on Vanuatu’s High Commissioner in Australia, Kalfao Kaloris, to try to make this happen. However, the issue of a proposed lower ‘backpacker tax’ rate designed to encourage seasonal workers to come to Australia is yet to be resolved in Australia’s Parliament. (VBTC)

The former GM of the VNPF has had a claim for Vt 36 million refused by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court after already receiving a payment of Vt 6 million on termination. She claimed her termination payment breached the terms of her contract. The Chief Justice did not agree and so her claim was Read the rest of this entry »


Returned seasonal worker starts support program to help other seasonal workers

Peter Bumseng: started a community support program to help seasonal workers. Photo: SSGM

Peter Bumseng: after experiencing the challenges of being a seasonal worker firsthand, he and his wife started a community support program to help fellow seasonal workers. Photo: SSGM

What happens in communities when migrants leave? Regardless of the benefits provided by remittance income and the skills learnt in new labour markets, there are concerns about what occurs back home. These questions are also relevant for the seasonal workers themselves who move back and forth between countries, coming and going from their communities and culture. One primary factor is how seasonal work can be gendered. For example, in 2013-14 and 2014-15, approximately 87 per cent of participants in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program were male, which can have implications for families and local communities.

At the recent State of the Pacific 2016 conference hosted by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at The Australian National University, Peter Bumseng spoke about his experience in the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program. Peter was one of the original 45 people from Vanuatu who were sponsored in a pilot program by the World Bank to work in New Zealand in 2007. He has participated in the program every year since, and five years ago he and his wife established the Strengthening Seasonal Worker Family Program in Vanuatu.

In his speech to the conference and an interview afterwards, Peter explained how his community had responded to people leaving and returning as seasonal workers: Read the rest of this entry »


Council of Trade Unions wants national living wage, not minimum wage

union training

Attendees at the VCTU/ILO training session earlier this week. Photo: Joe Harry Karu/Facebook

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Large earthquake off Hunter Island, tsunami threat cancelled, numerous aftershocks

Map showing location of today's large earthquake off Hunter Island in the far south of Vanuatu. Map: USGS

Map showing location of today’s large earthquake off Hunter Island in the far south of Vanuatu. Map: US Geological Survey

A large earthquake struck the seabed off the coast of Hunter Island at around 12:26pm today. Initially measured at 7.6 on the Richter scale, it was later downgraded to 7.2 and a precautionary tsunami warning that had been issued was cancelled. So far, six aftershocks have been recorded in the vicinity.

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