Last month saw the TUC running its first-ever advice surgeries for Portuguese workers living in London.
The three two-hour advice surgeries arose from an agreement between the TUC and the largest of Portugal's two trade union confederations, the CGTP-IN. The agreement aims to encourage more UK-based Portuguese workers to join TUC-affiliated trade unions.
Around 21,000 Portuguese migrant workers live in the UK, many in London. A large number work in hotels and catering as well as hospitals and bakeries. And, although some belong to UK trade unions, many do not and experience language difficulties when trying to get employment advice.
The advice sessions enabled the workers to speak to a union representative - through an interpreter if necessary - to find out about a range of employment rights issues. They were also given a new TUC rights leaflet written in Portuguese and English, along with details of the relevant UK unions for them to join.
TUC general secretary John Monks said: "Problems with language and the temporary nature of much of the work undertaken by Portuguese migrant workers means that they are often unaware of their rights, and as a result can be treated very badly by their UK bosses."
He added: "We want to put a stop to this."