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23 December 2009
Since mid-October 2009 several thousand immigrant workers without official papers (Sans Papiers) have been occupying temporary staffing agencies and work sites with the support of 11 unions and associations in order to obtain clear guidance from the government for local authorities on how to treat applications for work and residence permits, Le Monde reports.
This week between 200 and 300 immigrant workers without papers have been demonstrating outside the offices of the Temporary Employment Association (PRISME) in order to obtain the support of the association in their endeavours to put pressure on the government to issue clear guidelines and put an end to the arbitrary treatment in which their applications are dealt with.
PRISME, however, sees itself as a victim of the occupations and the demonstrations which degrade the image of the temporary employment industry.
PRISME President, Francois Roux, said "the problem is that a lot of the papers in circulation are not false documents. They are originals which have been tampered with or are being used by somebody else, which makes it almost impossible for us to detect any irregularities."
The demonstrators claim that they have been working in France via temporary employment agencies for many years, paying tax and social security and that they have the right to get their status legalised.