“Poland has such a shortage of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders and other construction workers that it is beginning to bring them in from Vietnam.
Many Skilled Polish construction workers are in jobs overseas because of much higher wages, especially in Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia.
That means a shortage of about 100,000 construction workers just in the Mazowsze area, which includes Warsaw.
“”Nationwide this number is much higher,”” said the vice minister of Labor and Social Policy, Kazimierz Kuberski. One solution “”is to hire workers from Vietnam,”” he said.
Hundreds of Vietnamese have signed contracts with Polish employers and are ready to come here, the Warsaw-based Dziennik newspaper said. They will earn about $660 per month. Employers also will provide them with food and accommodations.
Hoang Van Hung, director of an employment recruiting agency, said he has found construction jobs in Poland for about 100 Vietnamese workers.
“”When a company can’t find workers from Poland, or from the EU, it has the legal right to hire a candidate from Vietnam,”” Kuberski said.
Former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s government opened an economic dialogue with Vietnam, including the establishment of rules for allowing Vietnamese to work in Poland.
The countries signed on agreement on April 22, 2004, that deals with how Vietnamese can work in Poland legally. The agreement also covers Poland’s right to deport Vietnamese who have no visas or work permits. The Polish Press Agency said about 30,000 Vietnamese are working in Poland illegally, most either in the restaurant business or running their own small businesses.
“”They are hard-working and careful people,”” Kuberski said. “”They have few demands and they easily assimilate.””
Poland is also thinking about allowing in construction workers from China. Those involved in the stadium construction work for the Euro 2012 soccer championships are considering bringing in about 7,000 Chinese in April of 2008.
Before that could happen, however, Poland and China would have to have an agreement dealing with Chinese guest workers.
Dziennik said the examples of Vietnam and China have prompted other Asian countries to seek guest-worker agreements with Poland. Pakistan’s ambassador to Poland has written a letter asking how Pakistanis could work here.