How to compensate for the lack of manpower in construction

In the coming years, due to the lack of domestic labor, Serbia can expect a huge arrival of labor from abroad, primarily from India, not only in the construction sector, but also in companies engaged in the production of parts for the automotive industry, said yesterday (20.07.21) the president of the Trade Union of Construction Workers and Construction Materials Industry Sasa Torlakovic.

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He said that the mass influx of workers from India, in order to compensate for the lack of domestic skilled and unskilled labor, was partially slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic, but that they should be expected in greater numbers in the future because they come in groups of 500 people.

– Last year, about 12,000 foreign workers were registered in Serbia, and it is estimated that that number has been exceeded by about 50% so far. Apart from India, the workers also come from China, Turkey, Romania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Russia and Ukraine … – said Torlaković.

He added that it is a company Behtel-Enka which built the Moravian Corridor a few months ago It was supposed to bring 1,400 workers from India and Turkey who would be accommodated in a camp with extraordinary living conditions, but the pandemic made it impossible, so an advertisement was announced for domestic workers.

He said that the salary of $ 300 is “big” for Indian and other workers, and that they can send $ 100 to their families.

According to him, the average salary in construction is 51,000 dinars, which is not enough for an almost all-day, risky job, because in Germany they can earn four or five times more.

Torlakovic said yes Serbia solves the lack of labor force in construction with an increasingly loose procedure for their arrival, so here they are quickly trained for various craft jobs with the withdrawal of domestic masters from retirement.

– The qualifications of these foreign workers are not questionable as many believe, but do not take them into account, but the procedures for their arrival are facilitated, and a law is being prepared to increase employers’ needs for employment of workers who will give them the status of seasonal workers. they agree, and the state taxes – said Torlakovic.

According to him, the arrival of Chinese workers was facilitated several years ago because some rights were recognized according to Chinese regulations, but others also face a “travel racket”, which means that employers are blackmailing them to pay travel expenses and that they should work for free.

Torlakovic said that, according to the report of the inspection services, in the first four months of this year, they found employed workers from China, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Romania, Albania, Montenegro, Germany, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the construction sites visited by the inspectors. Russia, India, Tunisia, Ghana, Italy, Iran and Poland.

Inspectors found 3,197 workers from China at work on the construction sites they visited in the first four months of this year, six of whom did not have a work permit and 584 Turkish workers, of whom 385 did not have a work permit.

The inspection also noted that, as Torlakovic said, 1,000 Romanian citizens were found on the construction site of a shopping center in Novi Sad without a work permit, and 100 Indian citizens were found on the construction site of Corridor 11 and the Belgrade-Subotica high-speed railway, of which only a few were had work permits.

Torlakovic said that unions can only react where they have their offices, but that many companies do not have them because they cannot provide permission to enter.

– We also work as whistleblowers because inspectors are not able to control all companies because there are few of them and about 1,700 companies are in charge. The situation in Belgrade is even more difficult because there are more than a thousand construction sites – said Torlaković.

Source: – VESTI by

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