Thursday, 2 April 2009

Cyprus: international worker, "treated as [a] real slave"; documents

I had suspended a post about an "EU citizen, international worker, 'treated as [a] real slave [in Cyprus]'", because the worker, Zoltan, hadn't provided any evidence; but now he has.

In a comment upon another post on "sex, labour, exploitation, slavery [in Cyprus]", Zoltan originally warned that,
we are EU citizens,and we experienced this summer, forced work, inhuman treat[m]ent from so called employer....

We retu[r]ned as refug[e]es home with the help of our family. Humil[i]ated, misleaded [sic - misled], and sick by the heat. So everyone who wish to stay in Cyprus as worker, sended [sic - sent] by agencies, be sure over there exist no rights for you, you are wit[h]out legal protection if you got in touble [sic - trouble]. Do not go over there for job, you would be treated as real slave, and you could return from where you started if you got a family, sick or dead....

Is wery gainfull [sic - very gainful] for cypriots,and a real life danger for Europians [sic - Europeans], or third country people. If you are in[t]erested in details and facts documents you could contact me.

[Contact details deleted.]

my employer dosent even learnd [sic - didn't even learn] my name, called me "Petro"[,] i was afraid at last I will have just a number as in concentration camps.
I had to delete his comment, because it could have been libellous. But now I can publish his complaints, with his employer's contract and his doctor's note. I still cannot publish the possibly libellous claims.

In an e-mail, Zoltan apologised for providing evidence late, but explained that 'I was sick, i bring it home from Cyprus Hyperotherosis [sic - hyperthyrosis, hyperthyreosis, or hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland], occurred from stress of uncertainty, less of clear water, and heat'.

In that e-mail, Zoltan sent me his employment contract and his medical analysis. He told me that the second page of his contract was fake; it had promised a basic salary (albeit three euros an hour, for fifty-four hours a week), social insurance, paid holidays, sick leave. He also said that the named employer, 'Pampos', did not exist. Zoltan explained that:
The [Cypriot company] is the organiser, the employers pay them [the employment agency] in euro to find, hopless [sic - hopeless] or redy to go people, from poor countrys like: Hungary, Romania, Latvia.

The so called contracts are build tahat way that is contradictory to Cypriot labour law, impossible to use, wery easy to the employer to say that dosent recognise the "contract"[,] ang you can go away, in 45 Celsius with less money, you accept anithing[.] There would be no insurance, no legality, they can do anythying they want to.
Unfortunately, Zoltan still did not have any evidence of official Greek Cypriot actions, so I cannot say whether they helped or mistreated him. (But obviously, if individuals within the government or the police did mistreat people, they would try to avoid leaving evidence of that mistreatment.) Again unfortunately, the file of the original Hungarian-language work contract got corrupted or somehow broke, so I don't have that, either. But I have the English-language version of the contract and a medical analysis since his return to Hungary.

His and his employer's information are in his contract, and his and his doctor's information are in his analysis, but I edited the documents to protect the people involved.

Here's the English-language copy of his contract:

And here's the medical analysis from a state polyclinic in Hungary:

It seems appropriate that I publish this in London, on the day of the G20 meeting; but I can only apologise that I didn't post this information sooner.

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