Unionlearn (the TUC’s learning and skills organisation) staff, along with trade unionists from the South West, are visiting Gdansk, Poland as guests of the Polish trade union Solidarity. The multi-union group, who all work with Polish migrant workers will discuss reasons for the recent mass migration and how they can further understand its dynamics.
They will gain a deeper understanding of Polish culture, society and customs to better inform their work among Poles in the UK. The three-day trip will also see the group visit the historic shipyards in Gdansk, from where Solidarity began the fight against the Communist system in Poland. This trip follows a previously successful visit to the Warsaw jobs fair, where the TUC was able to promote awareness of employment rights and trade unions.
Liz Smith, unionlearn Director said: “Unionlearn and trade unions are working with migrant workers to improve not only their working conditions, but also their access to English classes and education. Through this we can do our bit to help community cohesion. But migrant workers aren’t the only ones with something to learn – it will greatly benefit our work here if we understand more about the cultures and communities that migrant workers are coming from.”
Wanda Wyporska, unionlearn Media Officer and one of the visiting group said:
“Trade unions are playing an essential role in enabling Poles to exercise their full rights in the workplace and to prevent them from being exploited. Many Poles are now turning to trade unions to help them in the workplace, whether it’s to find out more about employment law or improving their English. This trip will provide an opportunity for trade unionists working with migrant workers to gain a deeper understanding of Polish communities in the UK.”
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