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Farmers Saeima: if Latvia does not ease rules for guest workers, there won’t be any workers

Photo: pixabay.com.
During a meeting of the Food Industry Council, the biggest discussions were raised about the matter regarding the lack of labour force in agriculture and food processing companies. On top of that, farmers are confused over Economy Ministry’s proposed solution, saying that it is too far from reality.

Farmers Saeima board member and head of Mūsmāju dārzeņi association Edīte Strazdiņa comments: «The lack of labourers in food production is already at a critical level. If Latvia does not change requirements for guest workers, there won’t be any workers in the future.»

She says: «We are confused over Economy Ministry’s proposed solution. We think it is too far from reality. The ministry offers increasing wages and providing training for workers, without stopping to think that there aren’t any people left to train or pay larger wages.»

She also explains that a company cannot pay larger wages if the worker comes to work but cannot work productively. «Raising wages requires increasing productivity, which in Latvia is currently the lowest in Europe. On top of that, there is a whole group of residents in Latvia that subsist on benefits. The benefits pillow is so soft that people have no reason to get up and look for jobs.»

«We believe experience and training of guest workers should be left in the hands of companies. It is unacceptable to demand from guest workers two years of experience doing manual labour if any competent company can train a person in a couple of hours,» says Strazdiņa.


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