Date: 29 July 04
UNISON pursues recruitment company back to Philippines
UNISON, Scotland's public service union, today sent 12 sworn statements
from members working as nurses in the Scottish healthcare sector
to the Philippines Government's representative in the UK.
The union is asking him to pursue a prosecution in the Philippines
against a recruitment agency who took money from these workers to
get them a job.
Speaking on behalf of the nurses, UNISON Regional Organiser, Matt
McLaughlin said, "Our members each had to pay around £500 to St
George's Recruitment Agency before they were placed in a job in
the UK. UNISON understands that this is unlawful under Philippines
law. Over the past few months we have been working with the Philippines
government to prepare and submit these claims and I hope that in
doing so companies that abuse workers like St George's Recruitment
Agency will be closed down."
The union has also complained that St George's has been trying
to buy off its members. "It's a measure of this company," Matt said,
"that instead of concentrating on righting the wrong they have committed
they instead decided to put their energy into buying the silence
of the very people that they have abused. Our members have been
phoned, e-mailed and written to by St George's with offers on money
if they do not proceed with their claims."
UNISON has set up an Overseas Nurses Network in Scotland which
is gaining impressive support from healthcare workers from abroad
and has meant the highlighting of scandals such as this 'Cash for
jobs", and an earlier scam involving excessive rents being charged
to overseas staff by a private company.
[Notes to the Editor: The twelve nurses have been in the UK for
about a year and work for an NHS employer in Scotland. They are
frightened of possible consequences should they be identified, so
we cannot supply any for interview. We can provide anonymised copies
of their statements, and copies of the letter from St. George's
For Further Information Please Contact: Contact Names and
numbers in Footer as below - Matt McLaughlin (Regional Organiser)
0845 355 0845(w) 07946 339 036(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)