Romania, a Poor Land, Imports Poorer Workers – Matthew Brunwasser

11factory.600.jpgFrom the New York Times (photo: imported Chinese worker at a Romanian garment factory, via nytimes.com):

To get around the chronic labor shortages hampering this traditional textile center and in other industries across Romania, Sorin Nicolescu, who runs a clothing factory, came up with an original solution: import 800 workers from China.

“The explanation is very simple,” said Mr. Nicolescu, general manager of a Swiss concern, the Wear Company. “We don’t have any Romanian workers because they have all left to work” in Western and Central Europe.

Foreign investors have been attracted to Romania, a poor Balkan country, because of its low wages and, since Jan. 1, its membership in the European Union. At the same time, those low wages and freedom of movement through Europe, which is now easier, have been fueling a wave of emigration that threatens to slow an economic boom in recent years in Romania. [Full Text]

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