Pinay trader fined in NZ for exploiting migrant workers
A court in Auckland has fined a Filipina and her company for exploiting five migrant workers she recruited from the Philippines under misleading circumstances, reports said Friday.
A report on NZ Herald said Rosanna Imai and her company, Imai Japanese Food Service Ltd, were fined $10,000, an additional $5,000, and another $5,000 as emotional harm payment to her victims.
Imai was charged with seven counts of violating New Zealand's Immigration Act for failing to pay minimum wage and providing false and misleading information to an immigration officer, the report said.
A report on NewsHub in 2015 said two of Imai's employees were made to sign new contracts upon their arrival in New Zealand with different terms than those they signed in the Philippines.
Their passports were also reportedly confiscated by Imai, and they both received no compensation for the first two months despite their 70-hour per week schedule.
Imai would later pay them $250 a week or $3.57 an hour instead of the $17.50 she promised in the Philippines, the reports said. She also allegedly required them to tell her of their whereabouts at all times, even on their one day off every two weeks.
Dennis Maga of First Union in Auckland classified the men's conditions as "slavery" as they were underpaid and had their movements restricted.
"It is actually full control because the employer was holding the passport. It also discouraged the two to contact someone else or work somewhere else," Maga said.
Peter Davoy, Immigration New Zealand assistant general manager, told Stuff on Friday that they "will not tolerate employers who exploit migrant labour for their own commercial advantage and will not hesitate to prosecute in cases where warranted."
Davoy encouraged the public to contact Immigration New Zealand, the Labour Inspectorate, or phone in anonymously to CrimeStoppers to report incidences of forced labor, improper wages, and/or excessive hours. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News