March 8 is a major day of global celebration for economic, political and social achievements of women, but also it is a day to remind the governments which have enacted more laws that violate women’s rights, that they must review these laws, which for example allow the labor offices to force these women into contracts where the labor of women is sold cheaply.
On some occasions they are offered 690 euro monthly, far under the level of poverty, for daily attendance 45 hours a week until they would rent them to a company and keep 30% of their salary. These “contracts” and how these women (and men) are bullied into them correspond to the definition of forced labor, set forth in the Forced Labour Convention of 1930, ratified by Austria on 07.06.1960. Quote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILO_fundamental_conventions
The Convention was adopted in Geneva 28 June 1930 and came into force on 1 May 1932. By the end of 1932 ten countries had ratified the convention (Japan, Bulgaria, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Liberia, and Ireland). The last Western European countries to ratify the convention were Austria in 1960, Luxembourg in 1964 and Malta in 1965. Canada ratified it in 2011 and as of 2015 the United States has not ratified it (did they till now???).
The convention states some explicit exceptions of this definition, such as military service and community services in certain qualified cases, but the kind of activity to which these people are forced have nothing to do with these stated exceptions.
In Vienna, unemployed women and men are bullied by the labor office into “contracts” with companies which in turn rent them out to anybody needing a cheap worker. It is not clear if the bad deal for these people forced into virtual slavery has to do with labor laws which have been passed by the governments of the European Union in the wake of the economic crisis that swept global markets and led to the continuing collapse in the domestic and international economy, or if has to do with changing the statistical data about unemployment in Austria in order to make them look more favorable for the government. In any case, if these assumptions are right or wrong, the Austrian laws forbid forced labour. The Austrian penal code deals with slavery, forced labour and similar crimes in sections 104 to 106 in the chapter about “Human Trafficking”.
In light of the data available to me, the labor office threatens women with the withholding of benefits if they dare to protest against being bullied into “labor” relations in certain companies under the pretext helping them to look for work – these “measures” are always represented as “courses” where people are supposed to learn how to find work, as I know from many conversations. The labor office usually or at least most of the time rejects the wishes of women to choose a profession or line of work which they think suits them best.
Some questions are:
Are women (and men) led into forced labor by companies which work for the labor office?
Which is the relationship between the labor office and these companies beyond the formal contract?
Who are the owners of those companies?
Are they from circles close to politicians, political parties in power and employees in the labor offices and ministries?
Have any of these companies achieved positive results towards ending the problem of unemployment?
Does the labor office use these companies to falsify the statistical data about unemployment, or can this charge be easily refuted with verifiable information?
How exactly would such a falsification of statistics happen if it was true?
Is the falsification of unemployment statistics a violation of any law?
Why has the Austrian corporate media avoided these issues until now (well, there where articles about this issue here and there), instead opted for running a show which suggests that everything is well? suggestion: Why have the Austrian corporate media avoided these issues until now and in the opposite opted for running a show which suggests that everything is well?
The answers for these questions will be followed in a future article.
I was told by colleagues (i would insert) and acquaintances that I should abstain from writing this report as it would bring nothing at best, and that it could even bring me troubles. I think that it is important to report on these issues because women (and men) should not be treated like garbage in a country which presents itself as a civilized, democratic country, because always women are those who suffer the most from deteriorated social conditions, because I believe that not only citizens but also the government should act according to the law, anywhere. I find that this is an issue so big and important that the mass media, which have far more resources than I, should have a deep and abiding interest in bringing some clarity into this issue, which is not only about women’s rights, but also about human rights and democracy.