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Decent Work for Migrant Workers in Precarious Situation in the EU 27 Gdasnk, Poland, 13 -14 September 2011
Who are we? • EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, • stands for 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, • represents the interests of more than 2. 6 million trade union members towards the European Institutions, European industrial associations and multinational companies, • has set up European Works Councils in more than 120 transnational companies, • is a recognized European social partner and has a successful social dialogue in the agriculture, hotel & restaurant, contract catering, sugar and (under way) in the food and beverage sectors.
EFFAT sectors are very targeted • although the number of migrant workers is in general not very high, in some areas they displace the local population and labour market, • temporary work reaches the highest levels in agriculture, hotels, restaurants and some parts of the food industry: • 30% in hotels and restaurants, • 70% in the agricultural sector, • meat sector, up to 60%-90% in some regions (e. g. : Germany, Oldenburg)
Mobility and migration? YES. • EFFAT is very much in favour of the free movement of workers within the EU. • The freedom of movement is an essential part of EU membership and of the EU integration process. • It is one of the fundamental freedoms and rights (Art. 39 EC Treaty). • Migrants have contributed enormously to the creation of a modern Europe. • Clear message of the Social partner in the hospitality sector (EFFAT, HOTREC) Joint declaration on EU-Enlargement in 2002: “Welcome!”
Worrying practises of workers mobility (EFFAT experiences) (1) • Workers mobility for cheap labour purposes only creates large numbers of vulnerable workers: 1. gang-masters, letter-box agencies and labour agencies that compete on price, abusing human and workers’ rights; 2. undermines Decent Work; 3. serious economic and labour market distortions;
Worrying practises of workers mobility (EFFAT experiences) (2) 4. undermines the prospects of sectors; 5. tax evasion, fraud of social security systems; 6. displacement of local labour markets, sharp social tensions among communities;
Worrying practises workers mobility (EFFAT experiences) (3) 7. undercutting existing collective agreements in the sector, discrimination against local workers; 8. an attack on EU trade unions- obstacle to the creation of trade unions; 9. works against the establishment of social dialogue.
What do we do? • Inform the workers about their rights and organise them, • Inform the national and European political and decision-making leaders about the existing problems, • Influence the legislative and decision-making process at national and European level, • Establish working frameworks for national actions via the European social dialogue, • Campaign, demonstrate.
Inform the workers about their rights and organise them
On-line information Available to the public: • EFFAT MIGRATION WEBSITE http: //www. agri-migration. eu/index. php? lg=en -it provides information on migration legislation in the EU and best practices from EFFAT’s affiliates on migrants integration • EFFAT INFORMATION ON AGRICULTURE http: //www. agri-info. eu/english/a_start. php -it provides information on wages and working conditions in agriculture
Influencing the European Union • The European Commission proposal for a directive concerning the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purpose of seasonal work, • In times of crisis and where more and more xenophobia resentment inside the MS can be observed, • A strengthened legal framework for the social and employment protection of seasonal workers in general, dealing with minimum employment and social standards applying to seasonal work within the EU, ensuring equal treatment between local and migrant seasonal workers and promoting upward convergence of living and working conditions of all seasonal workers.
A European Framework should: (1) • Review and amend current EU legislation and its transpositions in national law on the freedom of movement ; • Implement the fundamental ILO Conventions and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; • Redress the primacy of the free provision of services over worker, social and human rights; • Host country principle;
A European Framework should: (2) • Restore the fundamental principles of equal treatment for workers; • Stop the fragmentation of the different forms of employment relationships; • Revise the Directive on the Posting of workers (96/71/EC);
A European Framework should: (3) • Common European social level playing field; • Minimum wages in all EU member states, either legally enforced or negotiated by the social partners; • No opting out on common social standards (Acquis); • Restore the autonomy of the social partner and the national collective bargaining systems;
A European Framework should: (4) • End of all posting and cross-border ‘labour-only’ subcontracting used only for the purpose of providing cheap labour; • Employers must be held responsible for the workers of their subcontractors; • Freedom of association and collective bargaining at the workplace, no matter what their contractual status is;
A European Framework should: (5) • Design and implement effective, accessible information and monitoring systems on worker mobility/migration; • Ensure a stronger and better enforcement of national and European Legislation;
The commn role of the social partners • provide accesible options to learn the local language to migrant workers, • create a positive approach and climate towards mobile/migrant workers (diversification), • offer further employment perspectives, • ensure training and qualification perspectives, • ensure equal treatment, pre-empt and address discrimination, • ensure proper accommodation and access to services, • assist mobile/migrant workers in coping with bureaucratic challenges in the host country.
Challenges Ø Migrant/mobile workers have often precarious jobs: fixed term, temporary, posted, outsourced, etc. Ø Such employment status often discourages employers from training and integrating these employees. Ø EFFAT is in favour of long term strategies to secure the integration of mobile/migrant workers.
…but good practises as well • The social partners in agriculture have worked since 2008 to create the socalled AGRIPASS, a European register of agricultural occupations, the CV Agripass, • The social partner in HRCT sector are drafting a European qualification passport, • Social partners have concluded CLAs on “equal work – equal treatment”, • Social partner in the European Sugar industry carried out a project on employability in several languages in order to reach migrant/mobile workers as well, • Companies do particularly promote mobile/migrant workers/ethnic minorities within the framework of diversity (Danone, Sodexho).
Other good practices from EFFAT affiliates • In Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, UK, etc. the trade unions run information campaigns with materials about working and wage conditions translated in the language of the workers, • Italy and Spain agricultural trade unions, with two of the most targeted countries for migrant workers, have a long standing cooperation and exchange experiences, • Holland Food trade unions employed Polish people to collaborate directly with Polish workers and break the cultural and language barrier, • Romanian trade unions inform the workers about their rights when leaving the country.
Find more on www. effat. org Thank You!