Danish trade unions are taking steps to welcome and support Eastern European and other migrant workers who often suffer unequal pay and poor working conditions.
The 3F BJMF building workers’ union has designed posters in some seven languages, providing information on how to get in touch with people who can offer support, and other union initiatives.
“Your Danish colleagues expect you to be a member of a trade union,” says the union’s website. “If you do not join 3F when you gain employment in Denmark, then you could risk being cheated and being underpaid.”
By 2012, there were already approximately 56,000 migrant workers on Danish construction sites. “We realised 10 years too late that we simply cannot protect the migrant workers without their active participation,” said Jakob Mathiassen, construction worker and BJMF union organiser. “We also recognise now that we need the migrant workers.”