Job politics heating up in Denmark as fears of Eastern European onslaught is realistic
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Danish Unemployed are vocally fearful that their jobs are either being moved to places such as Poland or other cheaper eastern European countries or that the Eastern Europeans are coming here to take the jobs.
The fear even grew stronger as thousands of workers would be needed next year to feed some large construction projects that have been lined up such as the construction of the City Circle road around Copenhagen, Fehmarn Belt Bridge and the Port of Aarhus. The question is how many of these jobs will go to the Danes?
This has ignited a strong political discussion in the country with some sectors of the society such as researchers calling on the government to define the factors that will influence new jobs created in Denmark going to the Danes
Those to be hit are building construction workers and labourer or unskilled workers such as in the earth and concrete works. Even those who are employed in the sector fear that the coming construction and building jobs will be occupied by Eastern Europeans.
Reports suggests that many workers feel that Eastern Europeans are attractive because they take far lower pay that them. Many Danes are now promising to be mad if there is one from Eastern European who take the their job, reports radio and television Denmark.
An example is cited of Danish 46-year-old Michael Lasko who has searched for a lot of jobs including assistant janitor, warehouse man and gardener over the past two years. Finally, his dream is that the gruelling job hunting will ends at the Fehmarn project, which is going to come with a large amount of new jobs for unskilled workers like himself.
"I hope that I can get a job at Fehmarn construction when it starts rolling on. I have been a casual worker always, so it's been really hard to find a job. It has been hell," says Michael Lasko to Denmark Radio and television
"It would mean a lot to me to get a job, because that would mean that I can feed the family again. Otherwise, I would have to go out of my home, because I have no money. And so it goes beyond the family. I also am a little stressed about it and go angry. That would change if I got a job," says Michael Lasko.
Yesterday it was reported that billions in public money has been used to fund new jobs that has gone to foreign workers. Since in the coming year a new public works and construction projects, would be launched, creating work for a year for up to 87,300 people, the fears is that a large proportion of the jobs will go to foreign workers instead of unemployed Danes.
However, politicians are not so worried about the effects of the foreigners taking Danish Jobs
"Personally, I'm not worried. The foreign companies must work on Danish wages and working conditions. But as foreign companies bid for projects in Denmark, the Danish companies also offer jobs abroad," says Rasmus Petersen, a political with the Danish Liberal party.
He recalls that in 2008 the country had great benefit from imported foreign labour, as the Danish labour market overheated and Danish wages surged.
Another argument is to remember that major construction projects create jobs within related industries. "Regardless of who gets employed, a huge project such as the Fehmarn connection lifts the whole area as the many employees will demand accommodation, restaurants, etc. It's like ripples in the water," says the Conservatives politician Benedikte Kiær.
However, labour market researcher, Henning Jørgensen from University of Aalborg said that politicians have failed the unemployed manual workers. He posits that politicians must start with real labour clauses, otherwise many construction works will to foreigners.
By Scancomark.com Team