Serbia imports workers due to lack of domestic staff

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Due to the lack of domestic labor force, Serbia will be able to expect an influx of foreign workers in the coming years, primarily from India, the Beta agency reported. In addition to the construction, Serbia will import hoteliers, but also workers who should work in the car parts factories that were recently opened.

In addition to India, according to the labor inspection, workers from China, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Romania, Albania, Montenegro, Germany, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Tunisia, Ghana, Italy, Iran and Poland are coming to Serbia, the representative of Trade union of construction workers and construction material industry, Sasa Torlakovic, said.

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

He also says that the arrival of foreign workers in Serbia was partially slowed down by the corona virus pandemic. However, he adds that they should be expected in larger 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,” Torlakovic said.

He added that the salary of 300 dollars is “big” for Indian and other workers who come here, and that they can send 100 dollars to their families. According to him, the average salary in construction is 450 euros, while on the other hand, our builders in Germany can earn four to five times more.

According to him, the arrival of Chinese workers was facilitated several years ago because they were granted some rights according to Chinese regulations, but others are also facing a “travel racket”.

This means that employers blackmail them to pay for travel expenses and that they should work for free for a certain period of time.

According to Torlakovic, the inspection found 1,000 Romanian citizens without a work permit at a construction site in Novi Sad, and 100 Indian citizens were found at the construction site of Corridor 11 and the Belgrade-Subotica high-speed railway, of which only a few 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 one has about 1,700 companies. The situation in Belgrade is even more difficult because there are more than a thousand construction sites,” said Torlakovic.

At the end of May this year, the German company AFT, which produces auto parts, opened a factory in Priboj and announced the employment of 400 workers.

At the beginning of June, the German company “Fischer Automotive System” opened its plant for the production of auto parts in Jagodina. It is planned to employ 350 workers in that plant.
It is no secret that our workers have been going to other countries for temporary work for years, due to higher wages. One of the popular countries to go to is Slovakia, which has a developed car industry.

The consequence is a shortage of labor in Serbia, which is solved by bringing workers from countries where average wages are lower than in our country.

Hoteliers also complain about the lack of workers, who also see the solution in the import of labor.

A special problem is the lack of cooks.

You can often find job advertisements in which employers offer a salary of 700 euros for that qualification, but they are still struggling to find a good cook, because the salaries abroad for that profession are far higher, Nova Ekonomija reports.