27 January 2008

Yarmouth T&G actively recruiting migrant workers

Great Yarmouth 1426 Branch of the TGWU (Unite) is actively recruiting among migrant workers in the town following concerns that local industry and unscrupulous landlords have been systematically exploiting the workers, who have little knowledge of their employment rights or of housing law.

The Branch is also concerned that in some situations employers are using non-unionised migrant labour to keep wages at the minimum wage for all new employees. The Branch heard reports of instances where employers have redeployed long serving employees to mininum wage tasks, cutting wages back to the minimum wage following notice of change of contract, and deploying migrant minimum waged labour to the previously higher paid tasks.

It was felt that these retrograde practices could only fuel resentment against migrant workers, whereas in reality both indiginous and migrant workers were victims.

1426 Branch has secured the services of a Polish translator and urgently requires the services of a fluent Portuguese speaker. Recruitment leaflets in several languages have been printed.

Members of the Branch have been visiting cafes and other venues where migrant workers are known to socialise and report a good response. The Branch already targets factories and other work places in the Great Yarmouth area for recruitment drives, usually held at work place entrances, and will in future ensure that Polish and Portuguese speakers are on hand to assist in the recruitment of workers from those communities.

Link: Transport and General Workers Union. You may join the T&G online here.

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