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We need to be able to change jobs freely

By 31 March 2023No Comments

My name is David. I moved to Ireland in 2020 to provide a better life for myself, my
wife, and my six-year-old son. I love reading, spending time with my family, and
playing football and chess.

But since I started working here in Ireland, I haven’t had time to do any of those

Back in East Africa, I signed a contract for a job in rural Ireland that said I would
work 39 hours over five to six days per week. When I arrived here, I quickly realised
that my employer had lied to me.

I often work 14 hours per day, lifting heavy machinery, with only one day off each week. Sometimes, my employer makes me work seven or eight days in a row. I have no spare time to do the things I love. But even though I’m exhausted, I try to call my family every night after work.

The worst part of this is that my employer only pays me for 39 hours per week. That means that almost half the hours I work are unpaid.

My employer does this because he knows that my work permit makes it incredibly difficult to change jobs. MRCI has been supporting me to leave this job and take a case against my employer.

The only way to protect everyone on permits is to make it easier for us to change employer. Right now, we’re stuck in the same job for five years. This makes it easy for employers, like mine, to get away with exploiting us.

With support from MRCI, along with other permit holders, we are building a group to push the government to allow us to change jobs more easily.

If you can, will you donate to MRCI to support people like me and help us take a stand against exploitation?

In hope,

David Mukasa*

*Name has been changed for protection

Help us support people like David by donating today

Your donation will go a long way to help MRCI:

  • Combat the exploitation of migrant workers,
  • Support people like David to access their rights through 1:1 casework in our Drop-In Centre,
  • Campaign for changes to the employment permit system that will protect worker rights, and much more.