When migrants make a living, pay taxes and contribute to the social security systems, they are an advantage to Europe’s economy and societies
Undocumented workers across Europe are performing vital jobs, but are often unable to do so regularly, and are frequently paid below the minimum wage, paid late or subject to wage theft. They are required to work very long hours, without adequate breaks, overtime, holiday or sick leave, or other basic social security. They are often not provided with necessary safety equipment and training, making them at greater risk of injuries, accidents and occupational illnesses, while also having very limited access to health services. Undocumented migrant workers are often isolated and their rights are often denied. Unions have an important role to play to support these workers.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) today issue a leaflet to support trade unions in their efforts to speak up for and organise undocumented workers. IndustriAll European Trade Union fully supports the ETUC’s endeavours to assist trade unions in providing support to undocumented migrant workers.
Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe, stated that European economies and the manufacturing industry, in particular, have grown and flourished thanks to the ongoing cultural and ethnic diversity of migrant workers. He said; “When migrants make a living, pay taxes and contribute to the social security systems, they are an advantage to Europe’s economy and societies.” They have a positive demographic effect and can be a source of cultural enrichment and diversity. “It is crucial to decrease the time it takes for migrants to enter the labour market, as the longer they stay unemployed the more difficult it will be for them to get a job”, he continued.