Minister: ‘Report exploitation in Groningen hospitality business’

Internationals working in the Groningen hospitality business who feel they’re being exploited should report this to the Labour Authority.

Karien van Gennip, minister of Social Affairs and Employment, said this in response to a publication in UKrant and Sikkom.

This article, ‘Money? Why? We gave you food’, quoted dozens of internationals working in the hospitality business who were being mistreated. Most students were underpaid, got too few breaks if any at al, and were the victim of a toxic workplace, subjected to verbal aggression and discrimination.


‘The abuses taking place in the Groningen hospitality business illustrated in the article are awful and shouldn’t be allowed to happen in the Netherlands’, the minister wrote after parliamentary questions from the SP. But it’s difficult to do something about this, says Van Gennip, since international students don’t report abuses at work.

That is why they should go to the Labour Authority so it can take action, Van Gennip writes. Abuses can be reported over the phone and online, in multiple languages. Another option is the Groningen Discrimination Hotline. This hotline will launch a campaign specifically aimed at new international students, the minister announced.


Groningen politicians were also shocked by the article. Alderwoman Carine Bloemhoff with the Labour Party announced that she wanted to discuss the position of international students with the Groningen hospitality business. The GroenLinks, Labour Party, Student&Stad, D66, and SP factions on the Groningen municipal council also said it was ‘unacceptable’ that so many international students were being treated this poorly. 

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