Bulgaria: Urgent need for workers

By Petar Kostadinov

Bulgaria’s biggest Black Sea resort Slunchev Bryag (Sunny Beach) desperately needs unskilled workers, Elena Ivanova chairperson of the Union of hotel owners at the resort told Bulgarian Focus news agency on April 29.

The need arose from the fast growth of the resort and the numerous new hotels, she said.

Hoteliers needed chamber maids, dish washers, laundry workers and chefs. “The lack of labour in Bulgaria has forced us to turn to non-EU countries such as Macedonia, Ukraine and Moldova. The other reason is because we can’t afford to pay workers from EU countries the salaries they are used to in their home countries,” Ivanova said.

The union has already signed an agreement with the Union of Bulgarians in Bessarabia region in Moldova, she said. “We are awaiting the imminent arrival of the first group of Moldovan ethnic Bulgarians to start work.” The group is of 200 people.

The union was going to see how fast the authorities were going to process the documents of the Moldovans. “Bulgarian legislation in hiring non-EU workers is extremely slow and the state needs to adopt some amendments in order to expedite the process, especially regarding the issue of work visas,” she said.

The 2008 summer season has already started in Slunchev Bryag with the first foreign tourists from Germany arriving on May 2. In recent years hoteliers have been complaining that the lack of staff was among their main challenges in developing a quality service tourism industry.

 

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