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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Will Key's corporate gulags breach ILO convention on forced labour?

While no one in the mainstream media seems to think implementing forced labour camps for corporate gulags is any problem at all, the reality is that Key's plan to privatize the prisons may run foul of the ILO convention NZ ratified in 1938.

The convention bans forced labour in prisons and it defines what can be excluded as forced labour...

2. (c) any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations.

We cant wait for the msm to critique the privatization of prisons so the blogs once again need to do all the heavy lifting here. Key's corporate gulags are forced labour camps, prisoners who don't agree to work 40 hours for 20cents per hour are not eligible for parole, that's forced labour. Under the convention Key can't simply hand this over to a private individual, company or association without it being deemed as forced labour.

In an Australian case it was decided that visits from officials didn't satisfy 'supervision and control of a public authority' meaning Key is going to have to try and use public outrage that we can't force prisoners to work in private prisons to justify ramming through some legislation that will have us contravene the ILO convention.

That ACC is a major shareholder in this NZ private prison experiment is the truly sick part. They will generate earnings from public investment into locking people up. The more people locked up, the more profit. See how the profit margin warps every value here? Suddenly throwing many more prisoners into prison has a commercial benefit, not just for the private company, but for the public companies that then invest in them.

This has all the morality of our Hospitals investing in blood diamond mines.

The worst part of the private prison experiment is that the contract hasn't been before Parliament so that it can be scrutinized. We have no idea what we are signing ourselves up to for 25 years, SERCO are telling the London Stock Exchange more than they are telling us.

In September of last year, SERCO told the LSE they would be making $29m per year from their private prisons in NZ, over 25 years that's $725m. Please tell me that's included in the $900 million dollar cost to build Wiri?

How is it that we have $29m per year to pay for private prisons but we don't have money to feed children in school before they end up in that private prison? It seems the only jobs the 270 000 children in poverty and 7.3% unemployed can look forward to from John Key are the 40 hours they will be forced to work inside a private prison.

The argument that this will save us $170m over the life of the contract is optimistic beyond credibility.

Another feature of the deal seems to be that we will pay for 960 beds at Wiri even if the prison isn't full. The incentives built into this deal favour SERCOs profit margin, they don't favor the social responsibilities to the wider community.

When you consider the percentage of prisoners SECRO will have under their direct control by 2014 when the Wiri prison opens, NZ will have the highest proportion of our prisoners in private prisons than any other country on the planet. Key has privatized our prison service without a whimper from anyone and this has all been allowed to quietly happen with pitiful mainstream media focus.

I don't see Seven Sharp covering this.

Once private prisons multiplied in the 1980s, America's prison population exploded. Expect the exact same thing to occur in NZ. Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.



At 31/1/13 11:33 a.m., Blogger countryboy said...

Good post Bomber . And absolutely chilling . The new Search and surveillance laws make more and more sense as time goes by .

Those bastards have to be stopped . Key HAS to go . Now ! Today !

And all the Pink and Clean pseudo fascists who support him have to be shut down .

A march or rally must be organized .

I'm stuck in the middle of Mordor in Bill English / Country Cow Freak Land where Blue is the new grey . Where drab with just a spatter of cowshit is de rigueur .

A march of One against National Party policies here would only make headlines as I was being dredged dead out of the Clutha River with my placard shoved up my arse .

The irony is that amongst all that Blue , there in lies the country-persons greatest enemy . Themselves .

The NZ Country-person holds NZ's purse strings . They , by themselves are really the only ones now left that can politically head off Jonky-stien .

Now , do you see why the NZ farmer is so Blue after years of grooming and lovey dovey smoochings from the Wellington/Auckland power elite and yet NZ Country-persons are a worthless-vote minority in the grand scheme of things ?
And yeah , yeah , I understand the Farmer Lobbyist pressure thing . Well , to that I saw wank , thus I win .

If Tumeke is serious about bringing the neoliberals to their knees , you'd be very wise to explore those relationships historically and be amazed at how relevant those relationships are today . And of how disastrous those relationships are proving to be for us all .

New Zealand is in very , very poor health and you guys have a moral obligation to go there and see if you can't shake a few rats out of the wood pile . But be warned ! Be very careful .

At 31/1/13 12:28 p.m., Blogger Arto said...

The crooked govt allows govt departments to spy on NZ citizens.

The crooked NZ govt makes it easier for citizens to be arrested.

The crooked NZ govt makes it easier for NZ citizens to be made into criminals.

The crooked NZ govt creates a profit motive for corporations to keep jailed citizens incarcerated for longer.

Come on sleepy sheeple. Wake up!

At 1/2/13 8:06 a.m., Blogger Phil said...

Hmmm. Good stuff BB. Could be trouble,me thinks. Lock Him up and throw away the KEY..


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