Date Released: 25 September 2014
SIPTU welcomes the launch of the Trade Unions Support Poles Abroad initiative in Ireland which will take place in the Conference Centre of the Communications Workers’ Union, Dublin 1, tomorrow (Friday, 26th September) between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m.
The joint initiative, by Congress and the foundation Wsparcie, is part of a wider project which aims to connect unions across Europe with Polish unions in order to better support Polish migrant workers.
SIPTU Campaigns and Equality Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “This initiative is an important step in the trade union movement’s ongoing work to ensure workers from all backgrounds are fully aware of their employment and social rights.
“SIPTU is continuing to play a leading role in seeking to increase Polish workers’ participation and integration within local trade unions structures. Our union currently has over 7,000 Polish members. In recent years our organisers have worked to increase contacts with the Polish community throughout Ireland. We believe that the increased diversity of our membership ensures the continued strength of our organisation”.
SIPTU Organiser, Joanna Ozdarska, will be among those addressing the seminar.
She said: “This project is key to developing positive and sustainable relationships between Polish migrants and Irish trade unions. Through SIPTU, Polish workers are being empowered to take an active role in their workplaces and to ensure they fully benefit from their legal protections as workers in Ireland”.
A Migrant Worker Organising Film by the SIPTU Manufacturing Division will be premiered at the event. Among those appearing in the short film is agribusiness worker, Wieslaw Stack.
He said: “From the moment I became a SIPTU shop steward I felt better as I was no longer one worker dealing with management but a representative of many people. From this moment I felt I could really change things for the better”.
The use of social media in assisting the organisation of Polish workers will be discussed at the event. On the day, SIPTU will be issuing Facebook and Twitter updates in Polish and English.