Unions, employers call for open borders

The Dutch borders must be opened to people from Romania and Bulgaria from next year, unions and employers organisations have told parliament.

‘The current tightness in the labour market, in both the Netherlands and Poland, means that there is room to open the borders,’ the groups said in a joint letter.
Employers and unions were reacting to last week’s parliamentary debate on the issue, in which a majority of MPs warned social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner not to relax the rules for eastern European workers.
In their letter the organisations told ministers that they were working hard to solve the problems which many see as being associated with Polish and eastern European personnel, in particular poor housing and underpayment.
The organisations urged the cabinet to take a tougher stance on hygiene and fire safety and to do more to stamp out illegal labour and fraudulent staffing agencies.
In addition, ministers must do all they can to get people claiming social security benefits back into the workforce to help reduce the shortage of labour, the unions and employers said.

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