Winnie Hits Out

Winnie Laban Urges Govt. to Help Save Telstra Jobs in Paraparaumu

April 28, 2010

Mana MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban saysTelstra Clear’s announcement that 120 jobs could go from their call centres, including Paraparaumu, again highlights the Government’s lack of ideas about retaining jobs.

Telstra Clear announced it could be moving the jobs to the Philippines in order to cut costs.

“The loss of these jobs would be a huge blow to the Kapiti community,” says Ms Laban.

“The call centre is a very big employer in the region, and many of the employees have young families to support.”

“The Government needs to do more to keep jobs like this in New Zealand, and to help communities like Paraparaumu,” she says.

“No plan for keeping people in jobs”

“Unfortunately, they have no plan for keeping people in jobs, and are intent on making life harder for people who are laid off.”

Ms Laban also says the Government has been silent about a recent trend of companies moving their jobs offshore — such as ANZ, Fisher and Paykel, Telecom and Yellow Pages.

“I would like to add my voice to Kapiti’s Mayor Jenny Rowan in asking Telstra Clear to not cut these jobs,” she says.

“I only wish the Government had a plan in place to limit companies moving their jobs overseas during this time of economic hardship.

“People affected by these changes are welcome to contact me through my office if they require assistance on Kapiti Toll-Free 298-5846,” she says.

Nice rhetoric from Winnie Laban.

Of course, the government can’t do anything to save the jobs having, in February 2009, signed a free trade agreement with the Philippines which guarantees that service providers from ASEAN countries will be treated the same as New Zealand companies.

And, of course, the text of the agreement was negotiated while Labour was in power and Winnie Laban was part of the government. Phil Goff, the then trade minister, praised the agreement as a “milestone for New Zealand”.

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