Exploitation of Young Migrant Workers Causing Broken Dreams

This is a summary of news article published at https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2024/01/exploited-dreams-young-migrant-workers-in-despair-after-paying-fortune-for-security-jobs-only-to-be-made-redundant.html

Ten migrant workers in New Zealand are struggling after losing their security officer jobs. They paid high fees of $50,000 to $70,000 to Indian agents to secure their positions. The workers now face financial difficulties and rely on the Sikh community for basic necessities, while feeling betrayed and hopeless.

Featured Image for Post Exploitation of Young Migrant Workers with Broken Dreams

A group of ten young migrant workers in New Zealand are facing financial hardships after unexpectedly losing their jobs as security officers. These men claim they paid exorbitant amounts of money, ranging between $50,000 and $70,000, to Indian agents in order to secure these positions. Unfortunately, just a few months into their three-year contracts, they were made redundant. As a result, they are struggling to pay rent, afford food, and make ends meet.

The workers express a sense of betrayal and exploitation, as their dreams of a better future have been shattered. They came to New Zealand with high hopes, but now find themselves in a desperate situation. They are feeling hopeless and uncertain about what the future holds.

With no job and dwindling funds, the migrant workers have been forced to rely on the support of the local Sikh community for basic necessities such as food. They simply do not have enough money to afford groceries and pay rent. This situation has left them feeling helpless and in need of assistance.

Adding insult to injury, Newshub has obtained video footage showing one of the men's managers verbally abusing and mocking them. The workers claim that the manager, Sukhpinder Singh, swore at them and used offensive language, including derogatory remarks about their family members. Singh defends his actions, stating that he was angry and upset after being accused of taking money from the workers.

According to the workers, their employment contracts stated that they would be paid $27.76 per hour, yet they were consistently paid less than this amount. Furthermore, the positions were supposed to provide long-term employment, with a three-year contract duration. However, the workers were only able to work for a mere nine months before being made redundant.

Just three days before Christmas, the workers received redundancy letters from the company director, Chetan Kumar. The letters stated that there was no work available for them due to lost work hours, resulting in their roles becoming redundant. Kumar denies underpaying the workers and claims that any deductions made to their pay were for rent, immigration and lawyer fees, and uniforms. However, the workers refute this, stating that no such agreements were made.

The workers financed their job opportunities by taking on high-interest loans and receiving financial assistance from their parents and relatives. However, now they face the consequences of their financial burden, as relatives are demanding repayment. The workers fear that they have fallen victim to an elaborate manipulation scheme designed to exploit their desires for a better future.

Chetan Kumar dismisses the workers' claims as "false allegations" and denies any wrongdoing. In fact, he presents an email from a former worker who accuses the men of attempting to extort money from the company. However, Newshub investigated the situation and learned that the former worker felt pressured and scared into writing the email. He was paid $7000 by S.E.A.L Security to do it. Additionally, audio recordings and text messages provide evidence of the transaction between Kumar and the former worker.

Amidst this turmoil, the migrant workers are left with unanswered questions and an uncertain future. They are unable to determine how they will repay their debts or recover the money they paid to the Indian agents. While Kumar denies any involvement in the payment arrangements, claiming that his relative assisted with recruitment but had no knowledge of financial transactions, his former statements are contradicted by evidence presented.

These young migrant workers in New Zealand are facing the harsh realities of broken dreams, financial predation, and exploitation. Their hopes for a better future have been dashed as they struggle to make ends meet. Their experiences highlight the need for increased protection of migrant workers and stricter regulation to prevent such exploitative practices.

author headshot Michael Yoon
Last modified on 23 January 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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