VILNIUS - With a dwindling population and more compatriots traveling abroad for better wages, Lithuanian companies have begun hiring abroad to fill job vacancies.
Murena, an Alytus-based construction company, has been among the first companies to hire workers from Belarus. It has already employed 15 workers and is expecting 50 more from the neighboring country in the near future.
"It's not easy to find skilled bricklayers here, so we have decided to hire them in the neighboring country. When three months of cooperation pass, we may say that we are satisfied with their work, and they are satisfied with our work conditions," Valdas Smalinskas, Murena CEO, told the Lietuvos Rytas daily.
"Belarus workers are satisfied with Lithuania's level of wages and we are satisfied with the quality of their work," he said.
Belarus workers hired by Murena get approximately 1,150 litas (333.3 euros) in wages plus accommodations, which are provided free of charge.
The company's representatives have chosen 75 of 100 Belarus workers who have moved to work in Lithuania and for Murena's subsidiary in Russia.
Constructus, a major construction company, has admitted that it would not undertake the PET preform plant construction project without the contribution of workers from Belarus. The 300 million litas project in the Klaipeda region require huge labor costs, which is in deficit in Lithuania.
The company is currently employing 20 highly skilled workers from Belarus.
VP Market, the largest retailer in the Baltics, said it would soon begin attracting human resources from former Soviet republics, Lietuvos Rytas reported last week. The retailer has begun searching for cheaper labor in Ukraine, Moldova and other countries of the former Soviet Union where wages are lower than in Lithuania.
Ignas Staskevicius, VP Market chairman, explained the company was forced to look abroad for labor for two reasons 's the gradual drain of Lithuanians who are traveling to Western Europe for higher paying jobs and the fast growth of average wages on domestic market.
VP Market executives have also felt the shortage of labor force in Latvia as well, so immigrants from other countries 's e.g., Ukraine 's will be offered employment at VP Market stores there as well.
VP Market, which operates a chain of 195 stores, employs over 15,000 people in its stores in Lithuania. In Latvia VP Market controls a chain of 94 stores and employs a workforce of almost 6,000.
Palink, owner of the Iki retail chain, said it did not intend to follow suit. IKI, which controls 140 stores in Lithuania, employs about 6,000 people in its chain.