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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

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.
  • 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 ?
  • 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