The project poolshoogte
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The project: POOLSHOOGTE. (An ACV approach to workers from new EU Member States). Nathalie Diesbecq. Explanation of the Name of the project .

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The project: POOLSHOOGTE

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The project poolshoogte

The project: POOLSHOOGTE

(An ACV approach to workers from new EU Member States)

Nathalie Diesbecq


Explanation of the name of the project

Explanation of the Name of the project

  • Poolshoogte` is also the title of newspaper in Poland especially addressed to Dutch(speaking) people working and living in Warsaw. (to keep in contact with their home countries

  • Means literally “Latitude”

  • Means in general: to look what is going on, to investigate circumstances.


Target group

Target group

  • The new migrants have in Belgium:

    • a status as (bogus) self-employed workers –

    • a status as a posted worker especially in construction, meat sector, transport sector, metal sector.

    • Undeclaredor illegal work within same sectors.

    • A status as an employed person


Migrant workers description

migrant workers-Description

  • Number of eastern European workers grew from 2004 to end of 2008

  • (return after crisis?)

  • the recruitment is happening in Belgium Poland, Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland

  • Migrants are “happy in their situation of exploitation.


Problems

Problems

  • do not have sufficient knowledge of the Dutch or French

  • do not always have the necessary technical skills

  • Are not aware of the existence of the collective agreements

  • are totally dependent of the local /original employment “mediator”

  • Do not have any idea of the role of the trade union

  • Do have housing problems.


How does our project works

How does our project works?

  • Started in spring 2005

  • We developed information tools in Polish concerning wage and labor conditions applicable in the target sectors. (flyers, brochures etc. )

  • We were relying on Polish volunteers

  • We organized information sessions about every necessary information, the role of the trade union, work permits in accordance to Belgian law, residence permits

  • In cooperation Polish society in Belgium


How was this possible

How was this possible?

  • We managed to create a climate of trust between these polish workers and trade union workers and volunteers;

  • We did negotiate with some of the concerned employers, but not always easy to identify whom we were dealing with.

  • About 30 cases have been introduced before court


Results

Results ?

  • Up till now more than 5000 polish workers became member of our union

  • The posted workers are not easy to convince, mostly they don’t join the union.

    • Since 2009 also polish women (cleaning) do become member, because they are since then legally employed trough a system called ‘dienstencheques”, translated ‘ services checks or vougers ” which offer the possibility tot employ a housecleaner on legal basis, but at a very interesting / economic price for the consumers.


Other importants items facts

Other importants items & facts

  • ACV now employs two polish advisers

  • ACV developed a “welcome guide”, in 14 languages: French, English, German, Russian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Polish, Serb, Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovak, Turkish, Moroccan.

    • We also were / are spreading information true the network our polish colleagues (trough their websites) (Solidarnosc en Budowlani )

    • We also use local – Polish newspapers in Belgium. (GAZETKA, NOWINKI, PoPolsku


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