Wind with a Twist
- Slovak government inspectors and police started Vietor (Operation
Wind) about two weeks ago. It was designed to flush out undocumented
employees. Although they've managed to inspect just a small number
of companies so far, the first results are in. Since the beginning
of April employers have suddenly reported 18,450 available jobs to
the unemployment offices. In relative terms, that is comparable to
one million jobs appearing in less than two weeks in the U.S.
The employers have probably chosen to do that rather than be
discovered and fined. The Minister of Labor expects the number of
"new" jobs smoked out by Wind to reach 30,000 (comparable to 1.6 mil.
jobs in the US).
There's a different twist to the story from what it might be in the
U.S., though. Most of those who worked illegally and have now been
presumably fired are not illegal aliens. Apparently, Slovakia does
not have many of them (they come mainly from Ukraine).
The reports say that employers have been taking advantage of
Slovakia's high unemployment and the Slovaks' consequent willingness
to work without pension plans, etc. The authorities hope that the
freshly 'fired' employees will be formally rehired under legal
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