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26 Jan 2024

Raquel Carvalho, Al Jazeera (Qatar)

These Filipinos paid thousands for a job in Poland. Now they feel cheated

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Al Jazeera interviewed 10 Filipino workers and saw written statements from 20 others who claim they were promised jobs in Poland that never materialised, after falling prey to a network of agencies and individual agents working together across multiple countries.

Despite having paid thousands of dollars in fees, they fear they won’t ever reach the European country...

Filipino workers in three different locations – Qatar, the Philippines and Hong Kong – told Al Jazeera they were led to believe they would find higher salaries in Poland, although they were rarely informed would also face significantly higher taxes...

According to migrant workers and labour experts, unscrupulous agents are taking advantage of the country’s growing allure.

Most workers said they were asked to make payments in three instalments.

The total amounts varied from about $3,500 to $5,000, well above the legal maximum amount in the Philippines. Poland prohibits employment agencies from charging placement fees outright.

Workers also reported hidden charges, a lack of regular updates, and sometimes even verbal intimidation from agents...

Over more than six months, Al Jazeera monitored several social media accounts recruiting for jobs in Poland, finding that Facebook and TikTok accounts with thousands of followers would be shut down only to reemerge soon after under a different name...

CIS Group Manpower and its owner Imran Mehmood have been on the Philippines Department of Migrant Workers’ temporary watchlist for employers since May 2022...

Part of the following timelines

Philippines: Overseas workers subject to fee-charging, deception & abuse by recruitment agencies

Poland: Recruitment agencies using exploitative practices target Filipino workers via social media platforms, incl. in Hong Kong & Qatar; incl. cos responses