Bulgaria Importing Cheap Labour To Accomodate Tourism Boom

Facing a serious problem with a shortage of workers ahead of the summer season, Bulgaria’s booming tourist industry is seeking to employ foreign workers to meet the growing demand.

While the Ministry of Tourism forecasts a rise of up to 10 per cent in numbers of tourists this summer, the sector unofficially estimates it is short of 15,000 to 25,000 workers to provide services for the increase.

“I am very worried. We are bringing in more foreign tourists because of different geopolitical factors – but how are we going to provide them services?” Elena Ivanova, president of the Union of Owners in Sunny Beach, the largest resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea, told BIRN.

“Only foreigners can offer us some perspective,” Ivanova said, explaining that Bulgarian workers either seek jobs abroad, or are “young and unqualified people who do not want to work”.

She said that nationals from Ukraine and Moldova, which have large ethnic Bulgarian communities, as well as Macedonia and Belarus, are the most willing to take summer jobs at Bulgaria’s seaside resorts.

Related image
At a roundtable in November 2016, the President of the Independent Syndical Federation in Trade, Cooperatives, Tourism and Services called salaries in the tourism sector in Bulgaria “humiliating”, noting that the average monthly pay cheque in the sector in Bulgaria was only 295 euros compared with 2,000 euros in Spain.

In January, the Labour Ministry eased the conditions for hiring non-EU citizens for seasonal jobs in the tourist and agricultural sectors, after that option was introduced under a new labour migration act in 2016.

Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov said in the resort of Varna on May 19 that additional incentives to attract foreign nationals had been introduced, including a speeded-up process for obtaining visas and removing the old requirement for an official translation of would-be workers’ foreign diplomas and certificates.

Related image

Bulgarian trade unions, however, do not share the employers’ enthusiasm about hiring foreign staff.

The Confederation of Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria, CISB, insists that if the tourist sector offered higher wages, local workers would not leave to work in countries like Spain or Greece.
In January, the CISB opposed a request by the employers’ organisations to widen the list of professions for which Bulgaria can import non-EU workers, saying it would put Bulgarian and EU workers in an unequal position.

Read More

Increase In Palm Oil Consumption In Bulgaria

Bulgarians consume an increasing amount of palm oil in their milk products according to Ivan Grancharov from the Association of Dairy Processors in Bulgaria. Nova reported on...

Croatian Government Pays 13.5 Million Euro In Aid To Croatian Airlines

The government in Zagreb said it is extending 100 million kuna ($14.7 million/13.5 million euro) in state aid to Croatia Airlines ,...

Bulgaria To Try H2 Cars

The country is “talking about it” announced the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, at the opening of the Hydrogen Summit in Sofia at the...

Recent

Bulgaria, Greece and Bulgaria To Suffer From Thomas Cook Bankruptcy

British travel giant Thomas Cook Group's filing for compulsory liquidation is credit negative for Bulgarian, Greek and Cypriot banks because the company's collapse will weaken...

Bulgaria-Romania Pipeline Opening This Summer

The Austrian company Habau is to complete the long-anticipated first gas interconnector between Romania and Bulgaria by August 2016 after it signed a contract...

Bulgaria’s Next Richest Person?

Georgi Zhechev is a kid who just turned 19. He was born in Varna, Bulgaria and moved to the UK at the age 7,...