Richter: Influx of Labour Force from Abroad Must Be Regulated

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Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter at a May Day rally in Zilina. (Photo by TASR)

Zilina, May 1 (TASR) – May Day as a festival of labour and safe working conditions, quality work and all related matters continues to be important for the Government, said Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (Smer-SD) at a May Day rally in Zilina on Sunday.

The event was organised by the Trade Union Confederation (KOZ) and Zilina regional authority.

The labour minister praised trade unions for defending employees’ rights and cooperating in supervising safety at work.

“Having a job isn’t an ordinary thing, especially in the hunger valleys. So there’s a need to value it, honour it and, of course, also thank those who give jobs to people – as long as they also create safe working conditions and provide appropriate salaries,” said the minister.
Richter commented on what he called intensifying efforts of employers to bring in workers from third countries. “There are still 100,000 people signed on at labour offices, which is more than in 2008, when the unemployment rate was relatively the lowest. There’s scope for working with Slovak people and preparing them for the labour market,” he said.

Therefore, the minister can accept bringing in workers from abroad only when this concerns regulated sectors that appear to be suffering from a lack of a skilled labour force vis-a-vis the Slovak labour market. At the same time this must take place only following proper communication between the relevant employer and the local trade unions.

KOZ chairman Jozef Kollar concurred: “We’ll never agree with bringing in significant numbers of workers from abroad. Misusing the still high unemployment rate, employers often blackmail our people, who have to accept inappropriate conditions that don’t provide dignified work.”