Stories of migrant exploitation

I received an email from one of my followers. He tells the story of exploitation he suffered while here in Ireland.

Here is the email:

I paid  my employer 1,000 euro to secure my work permit, as I did with my previous employers in Ireland, this money was deducted from my wages. When I got concerned about not getting it, my employer said there had been an error in his initial application and he had reapplied so I hoped it would be sorted.

My working hours were very long, from 6am each morning to 5pm each evening, and I had to work alternate weekends also. Even on the few hours I was supposed to be off, my employer often rang demanding I help out. I had no set break time and no holiday time.

I was paid monthly, but not at all what I should have been paid, I was given only about half the pay rate that others got for the same work. As well as that I usually had to ask for my wages at the end of the month, often waiting several days to get paid.

I stayed in a staff house there, and had to share a small bedroom with another staff member. Conditions at the house were bad, and we had no refuse collection, rubbish was stored in a shed which caused rat infestation. A relative of my employer held late night parties at the house despite knowing that staff had to be up very early but not caring because nothing would be done to stop it, in spite of complaints by staff. The relative jibed about having non national staff deported etc.

I often was in pain and sick due to the working conditions, I worked in driving rain, bitter cold and sweltering heat, 11 hours a day, all year round, and even when I was injured or had an illness I was still expected to work. I couldn’t afford to attend a doctor and no help was offered by my employer, for work related injuries I sustained.

My employer was arrogant, demanding, mean, unjust, and an all round nasty character. He did not secure my work permit, it suited him to exploit me, I was in a vulnerable situation and he took full advantage of that.

Unfortunately, this is a type of story that I hear over and over again in different varieties. What can we do to stop this?

I know how this man’s story ended. He had fallen in love with an Irish girl and they got married, but because he had no work permit, he was deported. It took them several years and the help of NASC to finally reunite and settle down.

If you have a story to tell, don’t hesitate to contact me!

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