After weeks of pathetic hiding from unions’ representatives – not coming to previously arranged meetings, not picking up phones, etc., the “patriotic” majority in the National Assembly introduced legal amendments desired by business organizations. The wages are going to be kept down by limitless import of migrant workers countries with even lower standards of living than Bulgaria.
The ruling majority of the 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria finally adopted changes that greatly ease the import of foreign workers from countries outside the European Union to the Bulgarian labor market.
MPs from GERB and United Patriots adopted all the key amendments to the Labor Migration and Labor Mobility Act, which were requested by employers organizations to enable them to retain low wages and also to obtain a workforce, for which will be more difficult to associate and defend its rights. .
Now the quota of foreign workers that a company can hire is tripled. Until now, 10% of the workers could be hired from non-EU countries, but with the new changes wished by CEIBG, AICB, BIA and BCCI and imported by Danail Kirilov and his colleagues from GERB and United Patriots this percentage jumps to 35% for small and medium-sized enterprises (which according to the legal definitions are over 99% of the companies in Bulgaria).
The men of Borisov, Siderov, Simeonov and Karakachanov met another wish of Kyril Domuschiev, Vasil Velev and company – to drop the market test for obtaining an EU Blue Card. This test envisaged the publication of a search offer for Bulgarian highly qualified workers appropriate for the position before a foreigner (a non-EU citizen) was invited to join.
The business’s desire for dropping out of the list of professions with a shortage of highly qualified specialists has also been fulfilled, which means that it will facilitate the import of workers with all specialties. In practice, it will no longer be necessary to prove that Bulgaria has a deficit of such staff, which has not yet been proven for the occupations listed so far, as the analysis and data from the Employment Agency indicated that there is no shortage of professionals, but there is a deficit of normal pay.
It is important to note that, while strictly fulfilling every wish of the employers organizations, the MPs of the ruling majority behind the Borisov 3 Cabinet systematically fled from meetings with the trade unions. The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (KNSB) and the Podkrepa Confederation of Labor (KT Podkrepa) confirmed for Baricada that since February they insist on a meeting with MPs from GERB and United Patriots, but this never happened. In recent weeks representatives of KT Podkrepa have searched the Ataka leader Volen Siderov on the phone, but he did not pick up.
The unions expressed their common opinion against the changes voted today, which was not reflected by the MPs. The unions also issued a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy Simeonov, accusing him of launching false statements in the public sphere claiming that the scandalous amendments were discussed in the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation. At the end of January, the Trilateral party actually discussed some of the issues, but only the bill of the Council of Ministers adopted at first reading on February 2 was the subject of debate. The scandalous changes were introduced at a later stage in the procedure between the first and second reading of the bill by deputies from the ruling majority precisely in order not to be discussed with the social partners, as required by the Labor Code.
The attitude of the National Assembly, and especially of the ruling majority, should not surprise us. Recently, at a meeting of the National Council on Labor Migration and Labor Mobility, Deputy Economy Minister Lachezar Borisov said he was a lawyer for the business. Speaking at today’s meeting, GERB MP Nikolay Sirakov admitted that there are many employers in the National Assembly.
Draganov is a Bulgarian journalist based in Sofia, currently writing for the left analytical platform BARICADA He graduated at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia has earned a BA degree in sociology and an MA in marketing. Since 2012, he has been working as a political journalist for various Bulgarian news outlets i.a. News.bg, BGNES and BiTelevision. As a parliamentary reporter he covered the work of the 42nd and 43rd National Assembly. Co-author of the documentary movie “The Invisible People”.