A small group of Romanian construction workers are worried and concerned. The workers have experienced, that since their arrival in Belgium, that a quarter of their wages has been systematically deducted by their employer. This without any explanation. The deducted amount is transferred to a Romanian account, of which the workers have no information .
One of the workers explains his situation : "I was recruited via an advertisement on a social network in my country, with an interesting salary proposal, I signed my contract. And when I arrived in Belgium, in a minibus with other workers, they installed us in a small house, rented by the company. In this house we are more than twenty workers eating and sleeping in precarious conditions. Each room is occupied by several people. Our clothes are hung on the walls and in a few bags. There are no cupboards. We work nine hours a day and we are paid for the equivalent of eight hours worked. Our comings and goings are controlled at the workplace are checked and we all have a valid "Checkin@Work" digital pass, with a signed contract. ".
Often we see that at first glance the posting situation seems fine. However, if we scratch beneath the surface we discover the complex fraudulent practices of wages deductions. The EFBWW has been denouncing these recurring practices for more than a decade. To resolve this we need a proper functioning inspection at the workplace and an effective cross-border cooperation.
The Belgian case in Charleroi is not an isolated case. In Belgium there are hundreds of similar cases.
Note: while writing this contribution, the EFBWW-secretariat was contacted by the police of Antwerp with the information that a group of Polish and Croatian construction workers went to the police because they were not properly paid. The case is now in the hands of the labour inspection and the local trade unions.