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Dutch unions ensure wages for Polish workers

28 August 2012

Several power companies are constructing new coal fired power stations in the Dutch port of Eemshaven. It is the biggest construction site in the Netherlands. One of the companies building is the German company RWE, that has contracted out some of the work to the Polish company Remak. Remak has sent over around 800 Polish workers, but they are not paid according to the collective agreement applicable for this work. They are receiving 9 euros an hour, instead of 11.50. Dutch trade unions have brought the company to court for violation of the collective agreement and the exploitation of the Polish workers. The collective agreement has been declared legally binding and the Polish company agreed in Court to respect it. This also implies that the Polish company will respect the reduced working time, and holiday and night work bonuses.
Non-Dutch workers make up 70% of the workers on this construction site. As several unions from different sectors are involved, they have joined together in order to improve the services they can offer to the non-Dutch workers.

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