Worked for months without pay

Santiago Altamirano came to Norway from Argentina to work in a car wash, but had to get help from Caritas and the union to get paid.

Santiago came to Norway in November 2022 with one of his Argentinian friends. In December, he started working in a car wash. They found out about the job through an Argentinian Facebook group.

"We started working without a contract because every day the owner had trouble signing the contract. He kept coming up with excuses like 'I forgot the contract' or 'I'm sick'," says Santiago.

Santiago Altamirano, migrant worker

Lack of money for food

After working there for a month without a contract and without pay, they started to have problems.

We had problems buying food and paying our rent and public transportation tickets. So we asked for help, first in Facebook and whatsup groups, then among Argentinian friends. They told us about Caritas. So we went to Caritas to ask for help. The legal team at Caritas were very nice and helpful. We also asked the trade union in LO for help. They were also very helpful. Finally after five months we were paid our salary, but only because Caritas and LO helped us

Santiago Altamirano, migrant worker

Want more controls

He therefore believes it is important that the authorities and trade unions help foreign workers in Norway.

"Foreign workers should be given information in different languages, because sometimes language is a problem. The authorities should also check workplaces such as car washes, restaurants and construction sites, because that's where most foreign workers work," he says.

Santiago Altamirano, migrant worker

Santiago had a one-year work visa in Norway and is now back in Argentina.