As the AHS scandal this week shows, mistreatment of migrant workers is a significant issue. Of course it shouldn’t be happening, and hopefully this example will make other companies review their practices and the practices of their contractors, or as I’d argue, their entire supply chain.
While the contractor, AHS, is under the spotlight, the hotel operator Accor deserves a good looking-at too. They must have been aware of what was happening, and if not, they should have been, and should have done something about it.
This is a bigger issue than the treatment of the migrant workers themselves.
Their poor conditions create a new lowest common denominator in the industry, impacting conditions for all.
It also reflects poorly on ‘brand New Zealand’. It shouldn’t be happening anywhere, and our reputation suggests especially not here. We’re seen as better than that, and that’s a valuable image, and one we need to strive to live up to.
By firing AHS Accor have distanced themselves from the issue but I wonder if they considered what that means for the workers involved?
If you use a labour supply company, how much do you know about their compliance and how they treat their staff? Are you ready to be implicated in their poor practices if they fall short?