Ukrainian refugees need not only a roof over their heads, but also a job

Jaroslav Pich

Volunteers from the Krkonoše and Podkrkonoše regions, who are willing to provide free shelter for Ukrainian refugees, also count on securing temporary work for them. They have a chance, especially in the service sector or in fields requiring higher qualifications.

Hotels and guesthouses can use refugees to solve the understaffing situation, and other companies can replace Ukrainians who have left to fight in their homeland.

According to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry spokesperson Eva Davidová, Ukrainians working in the Czech Republic under agencies, sometimes in the so-called grey zone, will receive fairer working conditions and salaries on a par with Czech employees.

The village of Libňatov in the foothills of the Jestřebí Mountains offers accommodation in family houses and hostels to Ukrainian refugees. The mayor of Libňatov, Jaroslav Pich (independent), immediately after the outbreak of the war, went to the Slovak-Ukrainian border on the instructions of a humanitarian organization to pick up seven people from Koločava in Transcarpathia.

He transported the refugees to the Czech Republic in a municipal van, which attracted widespread attention. The town hall soon became the coordinator of regional aid and now has about a hundred places for refugees. The municipal office in Libňatov maintains a database of volunteers for the free transport of refugees, with offers of accommodation in the Podkrkonoší region, including a transparent account to which neighboring municipalities contribute.

Juta has no space

The supply of vacancies has thinned considerably at one of the largest employers in Trutnov, JUTA Dvur Kralove, mainly because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Until recently, the textile mill was struggling with workers, especially women.

“We expect to lose orders to Russia and Ukraine worth CZK 300 million this year, which we cannot replace elsewhere. We are already registering a 60-million loss on goods supplied in this market. Given the rouble’s fall, it is unlikely that anyone will pay for that. And that’s not counting purchases of raw materials, which we will be forced to find elsewhere. Therefore, I don’t see the need for employees as realistic at the moment,” said Jiří Hlavatý, the owner of JUTA.