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Migrant work in a time of economic crises Main supporters :

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Prezentace na téma: "Migrant work in a time of economic crises Main supporters :"— Transkript prezentace:

1 Migrant work in a time of economic crises Main supporters :

2 A joint project by:

3 Challenge for the EU: How to remain competitive in a globalized economy while in the same time maintaining the European model of the welfare state?

4 Flexicurity = Flexibility + Security Flexicurity is an integrated strategy for enhancing, at the same time, flexibility and security in the labour market. It attempts to reconcile employers' need for a flexible workforce with workers' need for security – confidence that they will not face long periods of unemployment. (Source: EC DG Employment Social Affairs)

5 Common principles of flexicurity Working with national governments, social partners and academics the EU has identified a set of common flexicurity principles and is exploring how countries can implement them through four components:common flexicurity principles flexible and reliable contractual arrangements comprehensive lifelong learning strategies effective active labour market policies modern social security systems (Source: EC DG Employment Social Affairs)

6 EU strategy (flexicurity) vs. Czech reality („flexi-in-security“) Domestic labour force: Mismatch between labour demand and labour supply Low level of mobility Comparabily high level of regulation in labour code Welfare as alternative to very low wages in certain branches of economy? Migrant workers as attractive alternative: Less demanding, more mobile, and flexible Employment through agencies allows employers to rapidly adjust size of workforce in reaction to changing economic situation ► Divided labour market, where the economic need for a flexible work force is mainly satisfied by migrant workers

7 Who benefits and who looses from this arrangement?

8 Effects on Czech economy: CONTRA Availability of cheap labour prevents nesessary modernization and structural changes Establishment of labour- intensive industrial model that might not be sustainable on the long- term Image problem due to widespread abuses PRO Flexibility of migrant workers allows to overcome labour shortages In situations of crisis, the flexibility of migrant workers allows to keep core work force Migrant work allows to maintain / expand labour- intense industries in the Czech Republic

9 Effects on domestic workforce: Availability of migrant workers weakens negotation position towards employers Migrant employment patterns (agency work) could spread Effect on employment prospects for very vulnerable groups within domestic labour force is propably negative Presence of migrant workers contributes to Czech companies´ growth and secures jobs for Czechs The lay-offs of agency workers shields the core workforce from lay-offs in the situation of a recession

10 Effects on Czech state: Security risks Costs of migration system (e.g. Social work, language courses, involuntary returns, administration and control) are paid by the state while benefits are privatized Opportunities for corruption within state administration and in foreign representations Emergence of humanitarian and moral dillemmas Threat to state´s repuation due to widespread abuses Economic growth No need to make unpopular reforms of labour market Gain of diversity and intercultural competence

11 Effects on labour migrants: Financial gain Option to build a new life in the Czech Republic or to improve living standard in home country Lack of alternatives Risk of mistreatment and economic exploitation Very high investments to „organize“ visas, work permitts and work place In many cases not a good starting position for later integration

12 Humanitarian crisis Security risks Moral dillemmas Economic crisis revealed the Czech migration regime´s problems:

13 Project Flexi-in-security: Starting questions: How did other countries deal with this situation? What mechanisms of social protection are offered to migrants?

14 Project strategy Combination of research and public outreach with the means of art Different project modules: a)Visual research project, b)Travelling exhibition, c)Public debates, d)Publication of background articles and country reports (soon on!)

15 Outcomes Exhibition display in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, Göteborg, Frankfurt /Oder, Warsaw, Dijon, Brussels Public debates Country reports Poland, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain

16 Outcomes Exhibition display in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, Göteborg, Frankfurt /Oder, Warsaw, Dijon, Brussels Public debates Country reports Poland, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain

17 Outcomes Exhibition display in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, Göteborg, Frankfurt /Oder, Warsaw, Dijon, Brussels Public debates Country reports Poland, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain

18 Limitations of comparative approach The situation in the Western European countries is very different (► issues: employment prospects of 2nd and 3rd generation, racism and xenophobia, educational gap) Many newcomers in the EU-15 are citizen from the new member states In many countries the impact of crisis was less harsh.

19 Visual research project and exhibition

20 10 Stories about Migrants and their Communities Stories of migrants and their communities in Czech Republic (3), Germany (2), Poland, Belgium Stories about communities of migrants in home countries (Poland, Georgia, and the Philippines)

21 3 Stories

22 Welcome to the Grey Kingdom! Location: Plzeň, CZ | Research: Martina Křížková | Pictures: David Kumermann

23 Employee of a company, which “rents” Vietnamese from an agency: “The recruitment agency provides the full service; you don’t need to take care of anything. The people simply come to work and disappear if you don’t have work for them. Paperwork and everything else is arranged.” Zaměstnanec jedné z firem, která si v Plzni od agentur najímá na práci lidi z Vietnamu: „Agentura vám dodá službu na klíč, nemusíte se o nic starat, prostě přijdou do práce, když potřebujete a zmizí, když nemáte zakázky. Papíry a všechno ostatní je zařízené.“

24 Owner of a recruitment agency: ”If I didn’t pay them so little, no worker would be able to buy a widescreen LCD TV set for ten thousand crowns. It would cost fifty thousands instead! (...) The Vietnamese were better than the Bulgarians. They went to work, then straight home to bed and in the morning were ready to work again. They worked really hard. Bulgarians want to have fun after work and they demand more free time.” Majitel jedné pracovní agentury: „Kdybych jim neplatil tak málo, tak žádný dělník nemůže jít do obchodu a koupit si LCD televizi s velkou úhlopříčkou za deset tisíc, protože by stála padesát. (...) Vietnamci byli lepší než Bulhaři. Šli do práce a pak hned domů a spát a hned zase do práce. Strašně makali. Bulhaři se chtějí po práci bavit a chtějí víc volna.”


26 A worker from Romania: “I worked for a month without any contract. From my salary they deducted something for accommodation, something for transportation, something for their help in dealing with the papers. In the end I got 500 Crowns. That is enough to survive one week.” Rumunský dělník: „Neměl jsem smlouvu, pracoval jsem měsíc, strhli mi peníze za ubytování, dopravu, servis s úřady a dali mi 500 Kč. To je na týden života.“


28 Olena from the Ukraine: “Everybody complains, but nobody wants to go back. At home it is even worse.” Olena z Ukrajiny: „Všichni nadávají, ale nikdo by se nevracel, doma je to ještě horší.“


30 Aleksii from Belarus: “There are a lot of possibilities to get work in Pilsen, but they don’t prolong your visa, you have to go to Brno and sometimes to Prague. It is also getting more expensive. Unofficially you pay now between 25 – 30 thousand Crowns to prolong your stay. But that means you have to work a whole year just to pay it off.” Aleksij z Běloruska: „Práce je, ale v Plzni ti neprodlouží vízum, musíš jet do Brna, někdy do Prahy. Jasně, že se zvýšily ceny. Prodloužení pobytu teď neoficiálně stojí dvacet pět až třicet tisíc korun. Jenže to pak rok pracuješ jenom na to, abys to zaplatil.“


32 Impact of the crisis? As a consequence of the economic crisis, Czech authorities refused to prolong the permits of many workers from non-EU countries in order to open up jobs for Czechs. But once again, Czechs were not interested in working on assembly lines. Instead, Pilsen experienced the inflow of Bulgarians, Rumanians, Poles and Slovaks. However, the “client system” adapted to the new situation and works the same way as before. V důsledku ekonomické krize odmítly české úřady prodloužit pracovní povolení velkému množství zahraničních pracovníků pocházejících ze zemí mimo EU. Měla se tak uvolnit pracovní místa pro Čechy. Ale Češi k pásům pracovat nešli ani teď. Na jejich místa v Plzni nastoupili Bulhaři, Rumuni, Poláci a Slováci. „Klientský systém“ se ovšem nové situaci rychle přizpůsobil a funguje dál stejným způsobem jako dříve. (from the text)

33 Migration trap among the Great Masurian Lakes Documentation: Piotr Szenajch | Pictures: Monika Kmita

34 Iwona, 42, Giżycko: “You know what? If they really employed me for this job in the kitchen that I have, I would completely quit travelling and work here until retirement. But the way it is now, I just don’t have a choice. I have to go.” Iwona, 42, Giżycko: „Víš co? Kdyby mě tady v té kuchyni, kde pracuji, skutečně zaměstnali, nadobro bych přestala jezdit za prací a pracovala tu až do důchodu. Ale když je to takhle, nemám na výběr. Musím jet.”

35 Basia, 36, Węgorzewo: “I’ve graduated from two faculties, and decent ones, not anyone can complete them. The fact that there’s no decent job for me in this country, that I have to leave – for me this was a horror.” Basia, 36, Węgorzewo: „Vystudovala jsem dvě univerzity, a to s dobrou úrovní, ne každý je dokončí. A fakt, že v téhle zemi pro mě není slušná práce, takže musím odjet – to pro mě byl horor.”

36 Impact of the crisis? When I ask [my interview partners] about ‘the crisis’, only Paweł – the businessman – knows which one I’m talking about. For the rest, ‘crisis’ is a permanent state, a metaphor of life. Když se zeptám svých tazatelů na „krizi“, pouze Paweł - podnikatel - ví, o které z nich mluvím. Pro zbytek „krize“ znamená trvalý stav, je metaforou jejich života. (from the text)

37 Let's show the world how we live and work!” – The Struggles of Bulgarian Day-labourers in Munich Research: Lisa Riedner | Pictures: Trixi Eder



40 Impact of the crisis? When we arrived, some hundred people had already gathered in front of the union-building. Various speeches were held targeting the current social cutbacks. The flags of the major German unions were blowing in the wind. One word was omni-present: The crisis! In relatively prosperous Munich, however, crisis seemed to be something mostly connected with far away places: Greece, the US, Spain. Yet with the day-labourers a group of people took part in the demonstration whose situation was critical indeed. About 80 men and two women joined in with several banners showing their demands. We were certainly the loudest and – as I do believe – the most sincere group in this annual march for better labour conditions and social justice.

41 More information: Jakob Hurrle

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