Romanian church in Forest Gate hosts talk against exploitation of workers

13:14 05 September 2014

Father Sorin Grecu

Father Sorin Grecu


A Romanian church held a presentation to alert people about their employment rights to fight the exploitation of workers.

The Romanian Christian Orthodox Church in Rutland Road, Forest Gate, hosted speakers from the East European Advice Centre (EEAC) and the Romanian Embassy on Sunday.

The presentation covered basic employment rights and statuses, how to avoid labour exploitation and where people can get support.

It was followed by one-to-one advice on employment rights and some information leaflets were also handed out.

The visit was part of a London-wide drive to tell people about their rights and tackle exploitation of European Union workers. Issues such as making sure people receive the minimum wage, how to raise a grievance and the importance of regular work were discussed in the session.

Newham has one of the largest Romanian populations in London according to the Office for National Statistics.

Government data for 2010 shows people from Romania make up 11 per cent of the population of Newham.

Father Sorin Paul Grecu, 55, has been an Orthodox priest at the church for 22 years.

He said: “In the last year and a half the community has become very big. At the moment we have two or three hundred families.”

He said the presentation was very important for Romanian people so they know what their rights are in this country.

The presentation is part of the EEAC’s nation-wide Employment Rights Campaign.

Up to 40 per cent of Londoners from central and eastern Europe say they feel they are exploited or abused in their work, according to the EEAC.

In a statement, the organisation said very few eastern Europeans know what the hourly national minimum wage is.

The Orthodox branch of Christianity split from the Catholic church in what is known as the Great Schism of the year 1054.

There are around 200million people worldwide who profess Orthodox Christianity.

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