WARSAW May 29 Polish companies face a shortage
of builders in 2018-2020, when the bulk of EU-financed
infrastructure work will be done, Poland's biggest listed
construction firm Budimex's Chief Executive Officer Dariusz
Poland lacks steelfixers, carpenters, plasterers, and
bricklayers, among others, as many work in Western Europe for
higher pay, he said.
"Whether we like it or not, we need a large number of
workers, mainly from the East, to deliver the investment plan
co-financed with the new EU perspective, particularly in
2018-2020," Blocher said in an interview released on Monday.
"We can't offer today 3,000-4,000 euros ($3,400-$4,500 a
month) to every employee, as no investor would pay for it,"
Blocher told Reuters. In Poland, average salaries are 1,096
euros ($1,225) a month.
"There are construction sites in Poland, where about 50
percent of workers are foreigners, mainly from the East:
Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia," he said.
Blocher, whose firm belongs to Spanish construction giant
Ferrovial, said Poland should relax the way work
permits are granted to minimise the risk of contract delays.
Last year, Polish recruitment agency Work Service
estimated that Poland needed to double immigration in order to
prevent foreign investors taking cash out of the country.
In 2015, about a million Ukrainians, fleeing a separatist
conflict at home, came to Poland, adding to half a million
already living there, according to central bank figures.
The Polish government often uses such data to argue against
accepting refugees fleeing war and economic hardship in the
Middle East and Africa.
(Reporting by Anna Koper and Pawel Florkiewicz; Writing by
Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Louise Ireland)