Tuesday, December 19, 2006

La Dolce Vita

Harrowing article from today's Guardian about the plight of migrant workers (Romanians among them) in Southern Italy. Driving through small towns in Southern Romania you see loads of these hastily printed flyers on lampposts advertising work in Spain and Italy. I often wondered what kind of conditions the people who signed up for these deals ended up in.


Anonymous said...

I've seen a plethora of "Live the Dream! Work USA Job!" posters around most university areas I've visited in Romania.

I wonder what kind of sucker falls for those too. The company you making the posters charges the individual an "application fee" (cha-ching) as well as get the placement fee from the employer (cha-ching), if not the occassional percentage of the salary (cha-ching).

When the hapless college student buys their way into the grand old American life, they're hastily dumped off into a job like Disneyland or a cruiseship, which only sound like fun if you've never slept in a flop house for the privilege of slaving away long hours with unspeakable traffic of demands for a mere pittance so you've got nearly no time nor money to actually live anywhere remotely close to how you dreamed it might be like.

The really lucky ones get shipped off to a environmentally hazardous manufacturing plant in Iowa or perhaps an Alaskan fishing boat with cannery on-board. Mmmm, fun.

I've only had 3 or 4 student-types ask my opinion about those jobs and I always say, "Stay home and build Romania. It's better here than you think."

Anonymous said...

Similar news in Hungary this week:

One of the much trumpeted advantages of the EU is the protection of employment rights, yet these abuses still continue.

The sad thing is that I believe working abroad, out of your own home environment can be a very enriching experience and brings benefits not only to the person concerned, but their own country whe they eventually return.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with your point, Paul, about being an enriching experience. I neglected to clarify that the folks who asked my opinion were looking towards such an opportunity as a lily pad for leapfrogging into permanent residence.