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Migrant workers are facing discrimination

Newry businessman Jerome Mullen who has over 45 years of experience in business has been representing migrant workers in the north for the last three years in his role as Honorary Consul for Poland. His comments after it was revealed that a number of Polish workers have forthcoming tribunals over their rights allegedly being abused. The former president of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade said some companies believe that they can take advantage of migrant workers as they do not know their rights. “I have had to deal with quite a number of cases in the last 12 months of people who have lost their jobs unfairly and where tribunal cases will be taking place. There is a perception with some employers that they can do what they like with migrant workers because they believe that they don’t know or understand or know their rights. The vast majority of employers are first class paying proper wages, giving proper protection under employment laws and treating them with the respect that they are entitled to receive. It is just that some out there are greedy and selfish employers who basically think that they can get away with things and are quite ruthless about making profit s on the back of some poor individual who has come here to try and make a living. With around 30,000 Polish people living in the North Mr Mullen says it is no longer a migrant population but a significant group with strong roots in the community: ” Poland is a very significant country with in the EU. Potentially it has a positive growth economy of maybe up to two per cent and our people may very well be seeking employment in the future in Poland because of an expanding economy.” Johnathan Guest managing director at MJM Marine a company which specialises in fitting out cruise ships says the company has a workforce which is 60 per cent Polish:            ” We are massively dependent on our Polish people. The have the  right work ethic and work attitude to take our business where it needs to go.”


Newry Democrat

3rd December 2011