New multilingual guide seeks to tackle UK migrant worker exploitation

By agency reporter
January 24, 2015

An online guide to help combat the exploitation of migrant workers, so that everyone is treated fairly, has been launched by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), with European support.

The guide, Working in the UK, is available in 13 languages, including Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian.

Working in the UK provides workers with information and guidance on crucial issues such as pay, employment contracts, working hours, sick pay, and health and safety. It also explains how trade unions help workers deal with mistreatment, such as bogus self-employment or non-payment of the minimum wage, and bargain for better pay and conditions.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Unscrupulous employers have taken advantage of the fact that migrant workers are often unaware of their employment rights.

“Migrant workers are regularly forced to accept appalling working conditions, low wages and a complete absence of rights. The issue of migrants undercutting existing workers has been exploited by some politicians to win support for anti-immigrant policies that only increase social tension and do nothing to clamp down on bad bosses and improve conditions for all workers.

“Only when local and migrant workers are part of a trade union can they bargain with employers to be treated on equal terms, so that everyone receives decent contracts and a fair wage. The Working in the UK guide will enable migrant workers to find out in their own language what their rights are at work and how to join a union.”

The TUC Working in the UK guide is available in Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Slovakian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and English.

The online guide was produced with financial support from the European Commission as part of the project ‘Developing information for migrant workers through transnational cooperation’ with trade union partners LIGA in Hungary and Cartel-ALFA in Romania.

* Access the guide in different languages here: www.tuc.org.uk/workingintheuk

* Developing information for migrant workers through transnational trade union cooperation: http://www.migrantinfo.eu

* More on migration justice from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/

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