Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Slave Labour in Scotland

From The Prague Post

The life many migrant workers find in Scotland is not what they had envisioned. They are frequently abused and coerced into accepting illegal working conditions, said Beth Herzfeld of Anti-Slavery International. According to Herzfeld, debt-bondage is one of the tactics used to traffic people. Trafficking is when someone is taken to, or freely goes, from one place to another by means of deception, coercion or violence. Often, as in the case of many Czech workers in Scotland, their passports are confiscated, they have a debt to repay and, being unsure of their legal right to work, they are controlled by threats.

Paul Millar, a Czech-born honorary consul in Scotland, estimated that about 2,000 to 3,500 Czechs work in Scotland. Often, these people are lured by unscrupulous employment agencies promising well-paid jobs. The most common form of abuse is debt-bondage, Millar said. This is the illegal practice of paying an employer up-front for work, rent and food.

Dangerous housing and miserable pay are often the hallmarks of foreign workers’ lives in Scotland, according to Ian Tusker, assistant secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress .
“You could work all day for a pittance, basically."

2 comments:

madredmeech said...

Thanks for this, it seems to becoming more and more of a problem as neo-imperialism, so-called free trade, wars and enviromental damage get ever higher.
And more and more people need to 'cross borders' to find work, and often are so desperate they take risks they might not otherwise.

See http://www.alternet.org/workplace/59724/
for a report on kids, esp african ones - who if escape are treated more like 'illegals' than child victims.

Obviously we are all slaves to some degree, due to the wages-system, but obviously no where near as bad as this.

Until we have a worldwide free socialist system, people are always gonna have to move across borders(which are crap - one world one people) and human-trafficking is gonna continue for those who want to make more profits,out of other's labour, like practically every other money-grabbing capitalists.

Anonymous said...

"
Obviously we are all slaves to some degree"

Just slaves to jealousy and laziness. Get your ass off the couch!