Dutch oppose Brussels labor migration plan, minister says

The Dutch cabinet opposes European Commission plans to allow more people from third countries to come and work in the Netherlands, Social Affairs Minister Karien van Gennip told MPs on Thursday.

Van Gennip said she could not imagine how a new group of workers could be accommodated and warned it could lead to increased tensions in some parts of the country.

“These people must be able to live somewhere and have a job like everyone else, with decent pay and good working conditions,” she told NOS. The problems facing the current group of seasonal workers must first be solved, the minister said.

Last week, Department of Social Affairs inspectors warned that people moving to the Netherlands to do low-skilled work are living in “increasingly miserable conditions” and that Dutch companies are choosing to use workers cheap foreigners rather than innovating or improving working conditions.

Chief Inspector Rits de Boer also criticized employers who fire workers once they have worked long enough to have more rights, and landlords who provide dirty, expensive accommodation.

The current situation, said De Boer, means that private companies drive labor migration and make money, but society as a whole pays the bill in the form of labor market pressures. housing, public services and the education system.

Given all of this, the Netherlands has little choice but to “orient itself” on “stabilizing the size of the population” and to carry out a fundamental reorientation of what work means, did he declare.

The inspectors’ report was the latest in a series of damning publications on the plight of Eastern European workers in the Netherlands.

Labor shortage

The Commission said earlier this month that admitting workers from countries such as Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia would help ease the labor shortages facing many EU countries. EU.

The cabinet has not yet given an official reaction to the Commission’s proposals.

However, Van Gennip said one option to solve the labor shortage in the Netherlands was to tap into the ranks of the unemployed, encourage part-time workers to work longer hours and focus on other EU countries, such as France and Spain, with high numbers of unemployed young people, NOS said.

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