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Life Stories

Larysa's Story

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"At first, I thought I would be working there for just a short time, so I accepted the work without contract, and within 2 years there was no proposal from the boss to transform this into a contract, until the law came in"

Larysa, 24 years, Ukraine

"I come from a village around 300km from L'viv, near the border with Belarus. In my home region, workers are employed in sausage-making factories, furniture manufacturing and milk and bread production, but I came to L'viv to continue studies in food technology at a technical college."

At that time when Larysa started her studies, the government was offering education for free, however, the students still had to pay for their exams, so Larysa had to find work to pay for her exams.

"At first it was difficult to live in Lviv. My parents were not living together and there were problems with money".

After finishing 4 years of study, Larysa now works as a bar maid in a student's café. She has been working there for five years, but for the first two years without a contract. When the government brought in regulations to force employers to have a contract, Larysa was  finally granted a contract.

"At first, I thought I would be working there for just a short time, so I accepted the work without contract, and within 2 years there was no proposal from the boss to transform this into a contract, until the law came in"

Last Updated on Monday, 07 October 2013 13:06

Chus' Story

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"False work, de-professionalisation, the abuse of debutants, formation that doesn't exist, no vacation, lack of materials and staff.."

Jesús Redondo Navarro, 27 years, Spain

Still I remember my first job as a Social Worker, when I was only 18 years old. I was an innocent boy and I looked forward to work, to do things, and most of all; to change the world....They promised me a job with a future. It was summer and if we consider "future" till September of the same year, well, that's exactly the time until I worked.

There I was, very eager to start, in front of the door of the Local Government of Granada, where they celebrated the Day Without Cars, a day which they used to try to make the society aware of using cars as less as possible.

Once I prepared my table to hold a workshop with kids, the boss was worried about me, rather about my inexperience, and so 5 minutes before starting, he explained to me what to do.

I had to make hats of foam rubber for all the kids who would come to my workshop during the next two hours. Not even 10 minutes passed by since the beginning of the workshop and already 20 of these little kids, together with their mummies and in some cases together with their grandmothers, were waiting for their little hat that never arrived, and when it arrived, let us say, it didn't convince a lot of the kids because I didn't have a lot of experience and no one explained to me before which tasks I had to do.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 05:26

Erdijans Story

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"Some of the other employees didn't get protective clothing through their interim agency, so I don't want to wear mine either because I don't want to feel different from the others"

Erdijan, 18 years, Germany

Before our family escaped from the violence in our country, we lived in Kosovo. There we lived in Pristin, the capital.

In Germany we spent 3 months in a refugee camp. 13 people shared a room. After this time we moved to a flat from a charity organisation.

We now live with 5 people in our flat: my parents, my two brothers and me. My father works in a factory which produces bread. Additionally we get some money from the social welfare office.

Our family were afraid of a possible deportation for a long time. Now I am having a residence permit. Until some months ago, my grandmother has had an exceptional leave to remain. We have been very worried that she has to go back to Kosovo and she suffered a lot because of this insecurity.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 March 2015 15:27

Annas Story

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"Sometimes I did not take the break because there was too much to do"

Anna Maria, 23, Austria

Anna Maria has completed her internship in the retail trade. During the practical training in a chain store, there was a theft valued at € 5,000 in the store and Anna and another colleague were dismissed.

She loved her job. It was good training and she learned many things, despite the difficult working hours. During the Christmas period for example, (from early December until January 6) nobody was allowed to leave. The December 24 and December 31, EVERYONE should be at the store until it closed. Only the official public holidays were days off.

During the trial period, Anna worked 40 hours a week plus overtime * (* during the trial period, this is actually illegal). At the end of trial period, she earned approximately € 1,000 per month. Her working hours were divided into different shifts throughout the day. She began very early in the morning and worked until very late at night. She was always the kasyno last to leave. The split casino online shift (the pause) during the day was too short to go home. "Sometimes I did not take the break because there was too much to do"

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015 10:34

Gail's Story

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"They always promise they will contact me, but they never call back"

Gail, 22 years, Belgium

For 3 years I've been registered at all interim offices in Oostende, and the reason I'm so mad, is because today I was again disappointed. I came here because they called me to say that I could begin in the supermarket here in Oostende. Thrilled, I came to the interim office for my validation. Then the lady said that the job will not continue. The supermarket stated that it is 'on hold' and I can no longer work there. They always promise that they will contact me but they never call back. And then they ask me the same questions: "Is your address still the same? Has your phone number changed? And what kind of work do you want? ". I know all the questions by heart. It's just a tape machine that goes off every time.

I saw several times in the shop windows a job vacancy hanging for a saleswoman. But whenever I ask about it, they say that the job is no longer available. This happened several times. Other times they had a job in another shop. She promised to contact me, but after two weeks I heard nothing, and I went to see them and then had to come home because suddenly they knew nothing about that job...

Last Updated on Monday, 07 October 2013 13:07


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