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75 Thousand Foreign Workers to Arrive in Hungary This Year

Ábrahám Vass 2019.10.30.

The Hungarian and Romanian governments are quietly opening up the market to foreign workers, and recruiting workers not only from Ukraine, but from Asia as well, in order to fill the labor shortage, writes Channel News Asia (CNA), and reported by international news agency AFP.

In the case of Hungary, the AFP estimates that 75,000 work permits have been issued in 2019, mostly for Ukrainians but also Asians such as Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indians being on the receiving (and arriving) end. This number is up from 2015’s 13,000 permits.

CNA brings up the construction of MOL’s new polyol factory in Tiszaújváros, where a “container city” has been built to host up to 2,500 foreign workers.

The article also cites a representative of the chemical industry trade union, who claimed that “it is impossible to realize a large-scale project without foreign workers,” adding that Hungarian workers should be paid more and have better working conditions to entice them to stay.

In addition, other trade unions also mention the difficult situations, exploitation-like circumstances these workers often have to face. One of them revealed that employers tend to “exploit the language barriers by even faking working papers,” while another claimed that Hungarian employees are often under pressure from their bosses who tell them they are “easily replaceable” by foreign workers.

The news outlet hasn’t forgotten about the Hungarian government’s anti-(im)migration stance and campaigns, and suggests that this “is going against PM Viktor Orbán’s anti-immigration rhetoric.”

The tendency detailed in the article very much corresponds to data disclosed by the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (OIT) in September. According to their statistics, while in 2015 a little more than 12,000 migrant workers arrived to Hungary, these numbers sky-rocketed to almost 61,000 in 2018, and will probably rise even higher by the end of this year.

featured image via Pixabay