Article from the August 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
Health Service - Exploitation of migrant health workers
By Ciaran Mulholland
On 1 July members of the Socialist Party and Socialist Youth joined T&GWU activists in a picket of Provincial Care Services on the Ravenhill Road in Belfast.
The protest was over the company's disgraceful treatment of two Polish nurses who recently arrived in Northern Ireland. When the nurses asked questions about their long hours and low rates of pay the company unilaterally booked them on flights back to Poland - in effect the company was trying to deport them.
Provincial Care provide staff for a number of local health Trusts. In this case the nurses were working indirectly for Newry and Mourne Trust. This issue highlights the conditions of modern day slavery facing migrant workers. This case has been exposed by T&GWU activists. Unfortunately the trade union movement is largely turning a blind eye to what is happening under their noses. A real and urgent campaign to end this exploitation should be launched by the trade unions.