SIPTU and MRCI launch film highlighting poor working conditions of migrant workers in Ireland

Do Irish restaurant-goers know the human cost of their meals? Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) launched a film highlighting poor working conditions for migrants.

Food for Thought is a short social justice film sharing the experiences of low-wage migrant restaurant workers, in the context of the precarious work immigrants and low-wage workers are increasingly doing in recession Ireland. The film weaves together workers’ stories and interviews with trade unionists and economists reminding us that exploitation is bad for workers and bad for business. Also featured are a number of fair employers, who share an important message that it is possible to run a profitable business, abide by the law, and treat your workers with dignity and respect.

The film is informed by research MRCI carried out in 2012 with 120 migrant restaurant workers, which identified non-compliance and exploitation as ongoing concerns in this sector.

Trafficking for labour exploitation in Europe needs to be better addressed. While actors in the field have only discovered a tip of an iceberg, any solution to the problem will require understanding of new trends, developing new responses and partnerships.

For that reason trade unions, NGOs and faith based organizations launched a partnership to contribute to anti-trafficking response in Europe. Through the new project ITUC, together with Anti-Slavery International and Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe as international partners, will improve responses to labour trafficking. The three organzations, as well as national partners in Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania and Spain will in particular focus on exploring new trends in trafficking – such as gender dimension of labour trafficking, more and more severe exploitation of increasingly large groups of exploited migrant workers in mainstream economic activities and new labour trafficking recruitment methods including the use of Internet and ICTs.

The FINE TUNE project is supported by the ISEC/EU DG Home grant and it forms a part of the ITUC global action for protection of rights of trafficked workers and strenghtening labour standards for decent work.