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MfD: Foreigners “rotate” in beds rented in Czech industrial zone

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Prague, Feb 8 (CTK) – People in Rychnov nad Kneznou, an east Bohemian town with steeply rising foreign workforce, have invented a system of renting beds to foreigners, each working in a different shift, who rotate in the same bed throughout the day, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
In Rychnov, a usual price for renting a standard three-room flat is 6,500 crowns a month. However, it is more effective to rent individual beds to more users each, now that the local Skoda car-making plant is recruiting thousands of workers, MfD writes.
There are usually three beds in each of the flat’s three rooms. Each bed is shared by three foreigners who regularly alternate in it every eight hours, the daily writes.
The price is from 3,000 to 4,000 crowns for person a month, each bed thus earning about 10,000 crowns.
“Out of 48 flats in our house, 17 have been rented to foreigners…They often get drunk and make noise and a mess,” the paper quotes Jana Mazankova, a local house caretaker, as saying.
“In some flats, bunk beds have been installed to make their capacity the largest possible. The workers’s programme is simple. They spend eight hours at work, eight hours in a pub and eight hours sleeping,” another Czech resident told the paper.
Rychnov Mayor Jan Skorepa said some local people have hired their flats and are building family houses for themselves to live on the outskirts of the town.
Thousands of workers have been coming to the Skoda plant situated in the Kvasiny industrial zone near Rychnov, while many shops and facilities in the town have run out of staff and badly need professions such as shop assistants, cleaning women and cooks, the daily writes.
The foreign Skoda workers are mainly Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians and Slovaks. Most of them are men who left their families back at home in order to earn money in Skoda, the paper writes.
Rychnov and the whole region thus paradoxically pays dearly for Skoda’s success. Rychnov tackles an influx of gastarbeiters, a shortage of flats and a shortage of people who would take a job elsewhere than in Skoda, the daily writes.
The local unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country, but the police register a rising number of offences and misdemeanours, it writes.
“The region is exhausted, with no personnel available, since everybody works in Skoda, where the wages are higher,” Skorepa said.
He warned that Rychnov, a town with 11,000 permanent residents, can hardly cope with the influx of people in a situation where the staff in Skoda have increased from last spring’s 4,500 to present 8,000, and further 2,000 work for Skoda’s suppliers.
($1=25.306 crowns)

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