New report shows disadvantage faced by migrant workers in the metal industry
According to the results of a new IMF survey, migrant workers in the metal industry work in precarious jobs, earn lower wages than local workers and are less likely to be members of a trade union.
GLOBAL: In conjunction with the global week of action against precarious work, IMF today released a new report of a survey that focused on the experiences of migrant workers in the metal industry. IMF affiliates from every region of the world responded to the survey, providing vital information about the status and conditions of migrant workers in the metal industry, as well as the problems unions face in organizing them. The survey findings clearly show that migrant workers are currently being employed in all sectors of the metal industry. It also showed that overwhelmingly they are only offered precarious employment contracts.
Other key findings of the survey include:
- Wages paid to migrant workers are generally less than for local workers in similar jobs
- Deductions from wages for accommodation, transport etc are commonly made
- Even where it is prohibited by law, migrant workers in the metal industry are being required to pay fees to recruitment agencies
- Migrant workers face significant problems in accessing social security, legal and health systems
- The unionisation rate of migrant workers is extremely low, in most cases less than 20 per cent
- It is very difficult for unions to make contact with migrant workers
The report provides information on ways that IMF affiliates are supporting migrant workers. It confirms that there are many obstacles to migrant workers joining a union, including cultural and language barriers, but that the biggest obstacle to unionization is workers' fear. Included in the report are many examples of how IMF affiliates are working to improve the rights of migrant workers, with the goal of ensuring equal pay and conditions with local workers. The report is available on the IMF website in English and Spanish.
Strategies for organizing migrant workers in the metal industry will be further discussed at an IMF global conference taking place in Bangkok on November 11-12 , ‘Migrant Workers as Precarious Workers'.Oct 06, 2009 – Anita Gardner