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The Netherlands – Polish agency workers feel discrimination

20 February 2012

After the Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders recently implemented a national hotline where people across the country can call in to complain about migrant workers from Central and Eastern European countries, a study now, unsurprisingly, confirms that over 85% of Polish workers in the Netherlands feel discriminated against by this recent move. 

Over 80% of Polish workers stated that the Netherlands is less tolerant than they had imagined before moving to the country although many (86%) are still keen to stay on working there as they believe they have better future there. The findings are based on a survey by a local broadcasting channel which questioned over 540 Polish workers employed by the employment agency Otto Workforce agency.

Three quarters of Polish workers (76%) also said that they generally feel discriminated against in the Netherlands. Half (50%) think that the Netherlands is doing too little for labour migrants while over a quarter (27%) believe that the country is doing enough for foreign workers. 

Although the radical implementation of the national hotline has sparked diplomatic outcry in the country with the Polish ambassador in the Netherlands publicly condemning this move, almost half of those surveyed (46%) stated that they felt welcomed by the Dutch. By comparison, almost a third (32%) said they did not feel so.

However, a staggering 84% also stated that the felt ashamed of fellow countrymen who “behaved badly” and contribute to the negative reputation of Polish workers in the Netherlands. Nonetheless, a quarter (27%) would still recommend friends and family to come to work there. 

Over nine out of ten surveyed (92%) clearly stated they are doing the more menial work that many Dutch citizens would avoid or would not do altogether. Hence over 70% said they perceived themselves to be hard-working and having a stronger work ethic than the average Dutch national.

While many Polish migrant workers are keen to stay, 75% also stated that they do not think it necessary to integrate into Dutch society as they plan to move back to their county once they have achieved their career goals and earned enough money.


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