TUC launches new guide in 13 languages to combat migrant worker exploitation
Today the TUC is launching the online guide Working in the UK in 13 languages including Bulgarian, Polish, Romanian, Portuguese and Italian to combat the exploitation of migrant workers.
This guide is the trade union answer to problems found in the workplace that some politicians and some in the media are trying to blame on migration. It is those employers increasingly hiring workers for low paid jobs on insecure contracts that are the cause of worsening conditions in the workplace – and only workers’ rights and solidarity can tackle this.
Working in the UK provides information every worker should know about their rights, such as minimum wage levels, rest breaks and how employment status affects your rights – agency workers employed for less than 12 weeks and self-employed workers, for example, have fewer rights than those on ‘employee’ contracts.
It also provides advice on what to do if you are being paid below the minimum wage or employed on a bogus self-employed contract. These are problems migrant workers often suffer due to the government weakening the powers and cutting resources of regulators like the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said today:
“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 has worked with a number of trade unions from across the EU to produce Working in the UK.
It has partly been produced from a European Commission funded project ‘Developing information for migrant workers through transnational trade union cooperation’ between the TUC, Hungarian union federation LIGA and Romanian federation Cartel-ALFA.
The Italian version of the guide was produced through cooperation with the Italian union advice centre in London INCA-CGIL, while the Portuguese version of the guide was developed with the union centre CGTP as part of the cooperation protocol we renewed last year.
Where politicians are trying to divide workers, we must come together and demand decent conditions for all – start right now by sharing Working in the UK with your friends, colleagues, in your union branches and local community.