A story of Ukrainian migrant worker, who lost part of her arm because a laundry director did not allow rescuers to saw a washing machine, in the mechanism of which her limb was stuck, blew up the Ukrainian mass media
What is now waiting for this young woman at home? Are these cases isolated? What is the overall situation with labour migration in Ukraine? Why Ukrainians, including highly qualified specialists, are forced to go to work in neighbouring countries and get a low-skilled, low-wage and most often illegal job?
Alyona Romanenko’s story is shocking. What is worse is that it is not an isolated case but is only one of the indicators of attitude towards Ukrainian labour migrants in Poland. The Ukrainian mass media publishes stories about bullying, unlawfulness, non-observance of occupational safety and violations of legislation by employers against Ukrainians.
However, the Ukrainians continue to go off in search of a living. Why? They just do not have another way out. According to the polls of sociologists, about one third of the Ukrainians are ready to leave their homeland, while the highest percentage of those wishing to leave is young people. Among the reasons for this are the lack of decent work in Ukraine and the hope of getting a better future outside the country. These statistics hide unemployment, low salaries for professionals, lack of prospects for small and medium-sized businesses and literally poverty of the Ukrainians.
According to the Ukrainian media, labour migration has become a real problem for Ukraine. Highly qualified staff travels abroad to work as loaders. Situation has just worsened with the introduction of a visa-free regime.
Experts say that today’s situation has developed not in a day, but is the result of the whole history of ‘development’ of the supposedly independent Ukraine – that is the result of 25 years of stagnation of its economy. The projections of the situation are disappointing.
Thus, the President of the Ukrainian Association of international employment Vasily Voskoboynik says that “there is a strange situation in the labour market of Ukraine: experts go abroad, there is unemployment, but it still lacks experts. There will be problems with attracting high-class specialists in Ukraine and, moreover, there are not enough people to fill the usual vacancies even on conveyorsʺ.
At the same time, I want to emphasize that the West considers the Ukrainians only as low-skilled workers, if you can say so – slaves. This is evidenced by the conditions of work and residence of the Ukrainians, the attitude of employers. In addition, as soon as the Western market is saturated with low-cost labour, the Europeans will tighten the conditions of entry and work for the Ukrainians, as Poland has already done.
Thus, we see that Ukraine is steadily losing the productive segment of the population – the most active citizens and, the most importantly, its qualified specialists. This, in turn, leads to further decline of production, decrease in the level of scientific and technological development, and the collapse of the economy. Ukraine, in fact, has become a supplier of low-cost labour, practically, slaves for Europe. And this is in the 21st century! Only now they are not driven by Turks to slave markets, as it used to be 400 years ago, they go off in search of a living willingly, bonding themselves.
Miroslav Rudenko, the DPR People’s Council deputy