close
葡萄牙農業 開始仰賴外勞
2014/07/26
【聯合報╱By RAPHAEL MINDER╱陳世欽譯】
Workers From Abroad Pick Portugal’s Fruit


(圖為示意圖)圖/ingimage
ODEMIRA, Portugal — Portugal may have 15 percent unemployment, but that does not mean that Reiter Affiliated Companies, an American fruit producer, can find local people to pick berries on its 76-hectare farm here.

Last year, the company began a nationwide recruitment campaign and hired 40 Portuguese. Half quit after the first day. By the end of the week, not a single local worker was left.

“They wanted a job, but this wasn’t what they were looking for, because it was basically too hard for too little money,” said Arnulfo Murillo, the farm’s production manager.

Instead, the farm has imported a third of its labor force all the way from Thailand — 160 of 450 employees — a more expensive alternative .

The reasons the farm work does not appeal to the Portuguese are complex, but the primary one is that it makes little economic sense .

For its agricultural sector, about 2.4 percent of the country’s economic output, the problem of finding labor has been exacerbated by Portugal’s low minimum wage , still ample unemployment benefits and, not least, an image problem.

Working on a farm is “very badly considered in Portugal, as a job from the past rather than the future,” said José Alberto Guerreiro, the mayor of the municipality of Odemira.

Laura Miquelino, 32 , has been unemployed for a year. Even so, she said, she would work on a farm only for higher pay. “The Portuguese state has set a minimum wage that doesn’t really justify doing this kind of work, because it means you’re taking almost no money home from what is a hard and very time-consuming job,” she said.

As part of the terms of its 78 billion euro ($106 billion) bailout, the government almost halved the period for which unemployment benefits could be claimed to 18 months. It is now offering exemptions from social security payments to companies that hire new staff members. But those measures have not created incentive enough for many young Portuguese.

European Union subsidies have contributed to the problem b y reducing the pressure to restructure the farming sector and bolster its profitability, according to Catarina Santos Ferreira, a labor lawyer.

At the depths of Portugal’s economic crisis three years ago, RAC turned to importing labor from Asia .

Bringing in Thai workers requires visas and proof that RAC cannot find local workers. It also costs RAC almost 2,000 euros more per year than if it hired a local worker. The company pays for a return airline ticket and provides housing .

Still, the return on investment is high because the Thais work very quickly and carefully , according to Eduardo Lopez, a Californian who heads RAC’s Portuguese operations.

RAC pays fruit pickers Portugal’s minimum wage, equivalent to $770 per month. It also offers a bonus system for extra production . Last year, Thai workers earned about $1,440 a month, about $135 more than the overall average .

Today, just under 100 employees are Portuguese, 50 of whom pick berries. The rest are technicians or office administrators.

In addition to the Thai workers, others are from Eastern Europe, or from countries like Brazil, Morocco and Nepal.

Sunil Pun, a Nepalese fruit picker, said many Nepalese also moved to Portugal because it was easy to gain working residency.

Mr. Pun previously worked on a chicken farm in Poland. “The money is better in northern Europe, but the treatment is more equal here and there is less racism,” he said.

Carlos Bernardino, a chemical engineer who is an elected member of Odemira’s local assembly, said, “Everybody here wants to work in public administration, but I don’t know anybody who wants to say they work in agriculture.”

中譯

葡萄牙的失業率或許高達15%,然而這並不意味美國鮮果生產商芮特公司(RAC)可以找到當地的工人,去採摘它在葡萄牙奧得米拉市76公頃農場上的莓果。

去年,該公司展開全國性的人力招募,最後雇用40名葡萄牙人。第一天結束時,就有半數辭職。第一周結束時,在地工人全不幹了。

農場生產經理穆里洛說:「他們想工作,然而這不是他們要的,因為基本上,這種工作太辛苦,待遇也太低。」

農場雇用的1/3人力遠自泰國找來,在全部450名工人當中占了160人。這是成本較高的替代選擇。

農活對葡葡牙人不具吸引力有多重原因,主要是在經濟上意義不大。

農業約占葡萄牙全國經濟總產出的2.4%,人力缺乏問題因為下列因素而更加惡化:葡葡牙法定最低工資太低,勞工仍享有優厚的失業救濟,以及影響不小的形象問題。

奧得米拉市長奎雷洛表示,在葡萄牙,從事農活「給人很不好的觀感。人們大多認為這是往日而非未來的工作」。

32歲的蘿拉‧麥奎里諾已經失業一年。不過她說,即使如此,提高工資她才願去農場工作。她說:「葡萄牙的法定最低工資讓這種工作變得不值得做,因為從事這種辛苦且非常耗時的工作,你幾乎不可能為家人帶來任何收入。

按照780億歐元(約1060億美元)紓困案的規定,葡萄牙政府將勞工領取失業補助的時間縮短近半,成為18個月,目前並正在為雇用額外人力的企業提供社會安全給付豁免待遇。然而這些措施並未對許多葡萄牙年輕人構成足夠的誘因。

專長勞動法令的律師卡妲莉娜‧費雷拉表示,歐盟提供的補助反而減輕重整農業領域並提高其獲利能力的壓力,導致問題難以解決。

在葡萄牙三年前面臨嚴重經濟危機期間,RAC改自亞洲地區引進勞力。

RAC引進泰國勞工必須為他們取得簽證,並證明無法找到本地勞工。此外,RAC雇用一名外勞一年的成本比雇用本地勞工多出將近2000歐元。該公司需為外勞提供回國機票與住宿。

主持RAC葡萄牙業務的加州人羅培茲說,儘管如此,投資的回報還是很高,因為泰勞工作速度很快,而且心細。

RAC讓水果採摘工人享有葡萄牙的法定最低工資,相當於每個月770美元,還為額外產量提供獎金。泰國工人去年每個月平均收入1440美元,比整體平均數高出大約135美元。

今天,葡萄牙籍工人不到100人,其中50人採摘莓果,其餘則是技師或辦公室行政人員。除了泰勞,其他外勞來自東歐或巴西、摩洛哥、尼泊爾等國家。

尼泊爾工人普恩說,吸引許多尼泊爾勞工前往葡萄牙的另一個原因是,工作證取得容易。普恩此前在波蘭的一座養雞場工作。他說:「歐洲北部的收入比較高,不過這裡的待人方式比較平等,也比較沒有種族問題。」

具有化學工程師身分的奧得米拉市議員伯納迪諾說:「在這裡,人人都想當公務員。然而我認識的人沒有一個願意說他們在幹農活。」
arrow
arrow
    全站熱搜

    Andk 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()