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Posting workers

A new case of social dumping and exploitation of workers by Atlanco Rimec
Automatic salary deduction of 968 € for the rent of a demolition house!

During the construction of the A2 highway in Maastricht in the Netherlands, posted Portuguese workers were exploited as “modern slaves” by Atlanco Rimec, a company which is known by the EFBWW for exploiting workers in several European countries and continuously breaching workers’ rights.

During their stay in the Netherlands, the posted workers have been living in rented houses which were due to be demolished. Each worker had to pay a monthly rent of 968.75 Euro to Atlanco Rimec, despite the dilapidated state of the houses. The sum was directly deducted from 35 workers’ monthly salaries, under the guise of “logistical costs”. Three to four workers lived in a house. In this way Atlanco Rimec cashed in a minimum rent of 3,000 Euro per month, for each house which was due to be demolished. Thus, in total the company deducted each year at least 400,000 Euro directly from the workers’ salaries. Meanwhile, it was discovered that the owner of the houses, a Dutch housing corporation, rented out 14 houses for 35O Euro per month to Atlanco Rimec, which is a normal sub-market rent for a house which is not maintained and which is ready to be demolished.

In total, Atlanco Rimec have earned a yearly shocking sum of 340,000 Euro, by renting out demolition houses to posted workers. The workers had absolutely no choice. In case they would have refused they would have been sent home, and in order to make sure that the exorbitant rent was paid, the company deducted the rent directly from the workers’ salaries. An internal investigation revealed that Atlanco Rimec provided no other logistical support to the workers. Therefore the deduction was done just for the houses.

The fraudulent practices of Atlanco Rimec, as labour recruiter, are meanwhile well known. They also exploited workers in France (at the Flamanville nuclear plant), the Netherlands (at the Eemshaven plant), Sweden, Ireland, …

The EFBWW has obtained information of workers being recruited in Poland and then receiving a working contract which mentioned a Cypriot subsidiary of Atlanco Rimec as the employer. The extremely low social security contributions and the lean-back attitude of the Cypriot authorities towards letterbox companies have made it very easy for fraudulent companies to exploit their workers.

For years, the EFBWW has been denouncing the scandalous practices of modern slavery through the posting of workers. Within the EU almost 1 million workers are exploited yearly by unscrupulous employers, who are only interested in profit maximisation at the cost of the workers.

Next week (on 15.10.2013) at the European Council of Labour Ministers, the Ministers of labour will decide whether the proposed Enforcement Directive, which is aimed to better enforce the current posting legislation, will enter in its final phase or not. For the EFBWW the proposed Directive in its present wording is completely unacceptable. The current proposal will make it even harder for the Member States to control foreign companies. Therefore we urge all responsible Ministers to reject the current proposal.

This press release is available in various languages:

English version
German version
Spanish version
French version
Italian version
Dutch version

Related pages about:
EU Legislation Construction
Posting of Workers