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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Rights of Polish workers defended
The union believes many of the workers' rights are being abused
A major union has joined forces with the Roman Catholic Church to raise concerns over the abuse of Polish workers' rights.

T&G Scotland wants the valuable role of the workers recognised.

A meeting with members of the Polish community will be held on 8 October to discuss the main issues they face.

Some problems uncovered by the union so far are abuse of tenancy rights, long working hours, pay infringements and no rights to paid holidays and sick pay.

Home Office figures show that 32,135 migrant workers are registered in Scotland, most of whom are Poles.

We must do all we can to ensure they (Poles) are not ill-treated or exploited
Mario Conti
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow

T&G Scotland has won a number of cases on behalf of Polish workers who were in dispute with their employers or had their legal rights violated.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow has seen a major influx of Polish worshippers in recent months and Masses in Polish are packed every weekend.

The Church is concerned that migrant workers also face a number of challenges outwith the workplace including language, opening bank accounts, religious matters and issues surrounding accommodation.

The union is urging Polish workers to join up to ensure that their legal rights as workers are not violated, while the Church is encouraging new arrivals to register with their local parish.

Rights violations

T&G regional secretary Mike Brider said: "T&G Scotland warmly welcomes the role and contribution which migrant workers are making to our economy and communities.

"However, we have become increasingly concerned about the violation of migrant workers' rights within and outwith the workplace."

A public meeting, in Polish, will be held at Transport House, on the city's Bath Street.

Archbishop Mario Conti, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, said: "I am delighted to work with the union to offer support and solidarity to the newly arrived Poles and their families.

"Their contribution, economically, culturally and spiritually to Scotland will be greatly enriching, and we must do all we can to ensure they are not ill-treated or exploited."

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