Trade union centre for non-documented persons inaugurated

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A trade union centre, which is to provide advice and support to non-documented persons, has been inaugurated in Stockholm.

The centre was opened on the initiative of a number of trade union organisations and the association ”Non-documented persons Stockholm”. The aim of the centre is to prevent non-documented workers and persons seeking asylum from being ill-treated in the labour market and to support those who have met with problems.

The trade union centre will inform non-documented persons and persons seeking asylum on workers’ rights, give advice as regards wage levels, working conditions, working environment and how to prevent work injuries. The centre shall also provide possibilities of trade union/legal assistance.

The LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin, among others, attended the inauguration and accentuated that LO in co-operation with other organisations must do what is feasible to prevent people from being exploited in the labour market.

- All forms of exploitation are contrary to the fundamental trade union concept of equal treatment and non-discrimination.

- It is matter of course that the union shall assist those who are worst off, but other wage earners will also, in the long run, be affected negatively if we accept a downward trend of wages and working conditions.

Wanja Lundby-Wedin was optimistic as regards the union’s capacity for handling the problems of non-documented persons:

- We live in a solid welfare society with strong trade unions, we can manage to counteract exploitation, which is the fate of many non-documented persons.

Yacine Asmani, one of the driving forces in the association ”Non-documented persons Stockholm” reported that the union movement had contacted him and asked if they could be of service to non-documented persons.

- In this way, the idea of a trade union centre, which also has been tried-out in other countries, was hatched.

Yacine Asmani summarized the chores of the centre:

- Here we shall give assistance free of charge to everybody, it is a matter of international solidarity.

Sture Nordh, President of The Confederation for Professional Employees (TCO) observed that the working conditions in the world are changing and this, in turn, calls for new trade union work methods. Sture Nordh also saw, in a longer perspective, the centre as a resource to counteract economic crime.