Czech Agriculture Ministry advises hiring Ukrainian labor despite domestic Romani labor offer for bark beetle work
News server Lidovky.cz has long been reporting that the Czech Republic does not have enough labor available to deal with the consequences of the bark beetle calamity in its forests. Last June the Association of Romani Entrepreneurs and Guilds of the Czech Republic (ARPS) said its members could provide 1 000 workers for the effort.
Despite that communication, Lidovky.cz now reports that in April of this year the Czech Agriculture Ministry explicitly urged domestic firms to bring in more workers from Ukraine. According to Vojtěch Bílý, spokesperson for the ministry, the problem is that the ARPS labor force is not sufficiently qualified.
"To process the wood affected by this calamity, unfortunately, those people customarily do not have the necessary qualifications, for example, to work with a chainsaw or to use chemical sprays," Bílý told Lidovky.cz. According to the ARPS, however, their negotiation with Lesy ČR, the state enterprise that manages the forests, was exactly about the unqualified labor aspect of the project.
"We are interested in the unqualified labor, such as, for example, collecting brushwood and similar tasks, but the unit prices are not economically attractive enough for us to implement such works over a longer period of time," ARPS president Vladimír Leško told the news server. The ministry says collaboration with Romani guilds has been implemented in previous years.
Romani firms, according to ministry data, implemented commissions worth CZK 40 million [EUR 1.6 million] in 2017 and the volume was similar last year. Leško disagrees with those numbers.
"I am hearing that information for the first time," the ARPS president commented on the numbers, adding that at the most, the overall value of the Agriculture Ministry commissions implemented by ARPS member firms during that period had been CZK 5 million [EUR 194 000]. In a document published at the end of April, the Czech Agriculture Ministry is literally advising that firms bring Ukrainian workers to the Czech Republic as fast as possible "especially to liquidate the consequences of the bark beetle calamity".
Leško is criticizing that approach. "For quite some time now we have been arguing that it is inefficient to import unqualified labor into our state from foreign countries," he said, referencing what he said is good collaboration between ARPS and Czech Railways, the Railway Infrastructure Administration, and the Road and Motorway Directorate.
"We have many unqualified people in the Czech Republic, not just Romani people, who are able to perform work that does not require demanding expertise," Leško said. "We believe that over time there will be fewer negotiations and more actual steps taken on this issue, which is why we don't want to keep bullshitting about this, we want to get to work."
- Amnesty International: No justice one year after attack on a Romani camp in Ukraine
- Racist band associated with a leader of "Right Sector" in Ukraine to play in Czech Republic today
- EU analysis finds main target of pro-Kremlin disinformation last year was Ukraine
- Neo-Nazis from C14 group that assaults Roma march through Ukrainian capital celebrating ultra-nationalist historical figure
- The bells in Ukraine are tolling for the Roma
- Romania: 900 protest recent violence against Roma in Italy and Ukraine, more demonstrations in other European countries to follow
- In Prague and other European cities, Romani people and their allies to protest recent violence against Roma in Ukraine
- Czech Agriculture Ministry wants to collaborate with Romani business group, says Czech Forests already working with one
- Edita Stejskalová: OSCE should send observer missions to Ukraine regarding pogroms against Roma and monitor the police investigation
- Ukraine: Recent pogroms against Roma costing lives around the country
- Ukrainian court remands two juveniles into custody for murderous pogrom against Roma, Canada and USA condemn the racist violence
- Ukraine: One Romani man killed and others injured, including child, during yet another neo-Nazi pogrom
- Romani entrepreneurs push for unemployed Roma, not foreigners, to be hired for Czech bark beetle eradication
- Ukraine: Paramilitaries broadcast live pogrom against Roma on Facebook, the fourth in the last six weeks
- Ukraine: Third arson attack against Roma in a month, firearms also used against 7 adults, 30+ children
- Ukraine: Violence against Romani people is escalating
- Ukraine: Video of pogrom against Roma shows neo-Nazis chasing children, throwing rocks at them and using tear gas
- Ukraine: Non-Romani politician charged with shooting one Romani man dead during pogrom and wounding four others
- Ukraine: Odessa is flooded with anti-Romani posters
- Ukrainian villagers collectively blame Roma for murder, destroy their homes, revoke their residency
- Ukraine: Roma in Transcarpathia fear hunger, mobilization and the police
- Czech bookstore fires clerk for racially insulting Romani colleague on social media
- Romani fashion designer Pavel Berky joins the top 16 round of the Czech edition of the MasterChef competition
- Irena Biháriová: I will not let the extremists own the streets
- German academic institution to hold seminar on the influence of ethnic discrimination on Romani health
- Jarmila Balážová: Is the boundary of what is excusable being pushed beyond all recognition?
- Czech Republic: Driver runs into Romani boy in crosswalk, shouts racist abuse at him and drives off
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency to publish results of research with Roma and Travellers in six EU Member States
- Czech director of "The Painted Bird": All it takes here is to be different and you've got a problem
- Czech expert says haters' attention is fixating on Roma again, "migration" as a subject is over
- Czech President Havel protested against the wall separating non-Roma from Roma on Matiční Street 20 years ago
- Pavel Botoš: Who will stop the use of terms like "cigoši" in the Czech Republic?
- Iveta Bílková: Czech society should not tolerate words like "Cigán", "Cigoši", etc.