October 18 2006 - A TUC delegation is heading for Poland to
advise prospective migrant workers on British employment law and union membership before they set off for
TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley and unionlearn press officer Wanda
Wyporska will attend a two-day British Days Jobfair in Warsaw run by Jobcentre Plus as part of the European Year of
Workers' Mobility. Thirty major UK employers will also be represented, including Tesco, First Group,
and the Jurys Doyle and Macdonald hotel groups. Over 10,000 job seekers are expected to attend the Jobfair.
Nigel Costley and Wanda Wyporska intend to advise Polish job seekers
on surviving work in the UK, and talk about getting the best from prospective Polish
employees. They will also hand out leaflets in Polish about
the minimum wage, working time and joining a union.
Wanda Wyporska said:
"London, the East of England and the South East faces a particular
problem with rogue employers and I am glad to be able to use my language
skills to tell Polish workers how they can seek work confidently, safe in
the knowledge that they are aware of their rights and know where to
turn if things go wrong. We also want them to know that the best
protection they can have against unscrupulous bosses is to join a trade union
the moment they get here."
According to TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber:
"It's vital that Poles and
other migrant workers know their rights before they come to work in the
UK. Otherwise they risk becoming sitting ducks for employers who
delight in making money out of exploiting vulnerable workers.
"Hopefully the trip to Poland will help prevent more of the horror
stories we sadly hear so much about, of workers being mistreated, paid
illegal wages, made to work excessive hours, and having extortionate
deductions made from their wages for the privilege of living in squalid
"The TUC wants Polish workers to know how they can seek work
confidently, safe in the knowledge that they are aware of their rights and know
where to turn if things go wrong. We also want them to know that the
best protection they can have against unscrupulous bosses is to join a
trade union the moment they get here."