Réseau Syndical International de Solidarité et de Luttes

mardi, 5 juillet 2022



Ukrainian refugee workers exploited in the Netherlands

Accueil > International (Engl) > Europe > Ukrainian refugee workers exploited in the (...)

"Completely immoral and reprehensible". Henry Stroek of CNV Vakmensen [CNV - National Federation of Christian Trade Unions] has no good words for the "employment contracts" of a group of Ukrainian employees, who are currently working at the nursery Vreugdenhil Bulps & Plants in ’s- Gravenzande (Westland). "You can’t believe your eyes when you see what it says. It states, for example, that in case of violation of the rules, employees can be deported to Ukraine. ’Depotarcia’, deported, it literally says there !

The CNV team received a report about a group of over 30 Ukrainian Westland workers. "We visited the people at home. At first they hid and were terrified," says Stroek. Thanks to the Polish-speaking women in our team, we finally managed to gain their trust. We were shocked by the degrading texts in the contracts they signed."

Fines and threats

The CNV team has contracts (and their translation), which the Ukrainians signed in Poland with the company JANPOL. This company gave - according to the employees 1,000 Zl (= approx. 220 euros) in aid - for transport to the Netherlands, after which they were put to work through AUB Van Bergen Personeelsdiensten at Vreugdenhil Bulbs & Plants around 1er May. The contracts contained many repressive clauses (deduction of 20% of the remuneration after making mistakes), a warning for talking to people in the Netherlands about their working conditions (fine of 500 euros) and the threat of "deportation" to Ukraine in case of violation of the contract clauses. In addition, as long as they work in the Netherlands, Ukrainians - who are systematically referred to as ’contractors’ and not ’employees’ in the contracts - have to pay JANPOL a monthly administrative fee of 50 euros. [...]

Emergency situation

CNV Vakmensen believes that this is a humanitarian emergency that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Stroek explains : "People are afraid and have hardly any money. They will only receive their first payment on 20 June. We demand that Vreugdenhil Bulbs & Plants - which is the main contractor - immediately offers these people a decent contract, at least for six months. And provide an advance of 250 euros, so that people are out of the worst mess. As far as we’re concerned, the contracts they’ve signed they now have to go straight to the shredder.

Displacement of other workers

Now that the Dutch government has decided that Ukrainians can stay and work in the Netherlands, many companies see this as an opportunity, notes Stroek. The shortage of personnel is a strong incentive to recruit Ukrainians. They are not yet familiar with the rules in the Netherlands and, because of the war in their own country, they are even more dependent on the Dutch employer. As a result, you see that the migrant workers who show up today experience that their contracts are terminated, not extended or that they are intimidated. In addition to their jobs, they also lose their housing. [...]

Combating illegal situations

CNV Vakmensen also demands action from the government (Labour Inspectorate/SZW) and the regional government (municipalities). It is incomprehensible that Ukrainians can work in this way in the municipality of Westland. We expect the government to take responsibility and to crack down on this kind of illegal situation. Unfortunately, we are convinced that this is not an isolated incident.

Voir en ligne :
Published by the CNV website

2 june 2022