As we mark one year since the war in Ukraine, UNI Global Union continues to provide necessary support for refugees who have fled the conflict.
UNI has been assisting Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland through its Union Help Refugees (UHR) programme. Set up in March 2022 by UNI’s COZZ Organising Centre in Warsaw, one of its first actions was to set up a helpline, which has taken thousands of calls and handled over 200 cases of exploitation.
The team has been able to help workers win compensation for injuries, unpaid wages, fight unfair dismissals, secure written contracts as well as help refugees find a place to live, legalize their stay and receive the benefits they are entitled to.
Through UHR, refugees have access to over 340 contact points for different type of assistance provided by other governmental and NGOs operating in Poland. All resources are translated to their native languages. UHR has also partnered with leading refugee NGOs to provide relief and legal assistance.
UHR’s educational programme provides practical advice on specific issues and more advanced legal information to people on how to implement their rights as refugees and as workers. UHR regularly produces short videos and infographics on refugee rights, workers’ rights and trade union benefits which are shared on UHR’s social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.
As well as putting refugees in touch with Polish trade unions, UHR has conducted online and in-person organizing training for trade unionists still working in Ukraine.
COZZ Director, Rafal Tomasiak, said:
“Thanks to international solidarity, UNI’s team at UHR is assisting hundreds of refugees, most of whom are women, to find work, fight exploitation and know their rights as they try to make a life in such uncertainty. We will continue to do our best for refugees, who are the innocent victims of this bloody war, and hope that peace prevails before another year passes.”