Expatica news

Eastern Europeans ‘flood’ Belgian building sites

3 June 2005

BRUSSELS – Around 50,000 workers from eastern Europe have jobs on Belgian building sites, according to reports on Friday.

The Flemish newspapers ‘Het Nieuwsblad’, ‘Het Volk’ and ‘De Standaard’ claim the majority of them are illegal workers.

Although many eastern European countries joined the EU last May, even workers from those countries are not yet entitled to hunt for jobs on the same terms as counterparts from the ‘old’ EU.

Friday’s reports concluded, however, that construction companies are finding ways around the working restrictions to hire eastern Europeans. Many are encouraging builders to pretend to be self-employed companies.

According to the reports, a flood of workers from the east has driven down labour prices, leading even the most law-abiding building firms to consider hiring illegal workers.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news