Winemakers missing seasonal workers to pick the grapes

Other EU member states offered workers more competitive conditions.

(Source: Jana Liptáková)

Slovak grapes and fruits will not have anyone to pick them, winemakers and vineyard owners say.

Seasonal workers were employed in other EU states, where they were offered more competitive conditions. Slovakia currently does not have any policies for the support of seasonal labourers who pick fruits, grapes and vegetables.

The Union of Vineyard Owners and Winemakers in Slovakia (ZVVS) is thus asking the government to implement new policies, ZVVS president Vladimír Mrva said as reported by the SITA newswire.

Salaries are higher abroad

The problem concerning the shortage of pickers, according to winemakers, is worsening and countries are trying to one-up each other with better social policies and conditions for seasonal labourers.

Some member states are already designing special policies for seasonal labourers from third countries. According to the union, labourers from Georgia, the Ukraine but also Thailand and Malaysia have all been recruited this year. However in Slovakia, the status of a ‘seasonal labourer’ is yet to be introduced.

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