At the ETUC Congress in Seville, trade unionists from across Europe discussed ways to organise immigrants. In many countries, workers from countries including Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Rumania can now get legal advice in their own language from unions, a video explains.
In America, there have long been workers’ centres offering advice to immigrants. One of the first such initiatives in Europe have been the Centros de Información para Trabajadores Extranjeros (Cite) of the Spanish Comisiones Obreras. These centres not only prevent exploitation, but also help recruitment: through Cite, immigrants discover the union.
An article in Mute asks whether it is possible to organise undocumented immigrants. “We would ideally like to move towards a separation in the legal system between actual rights of workers and the person’s status of residency and work permit. But at the moment there is a problem for the employee - ‘will I end up being deported if I go to court?’”, Sean Bamford of the British TUC says.