Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gangs of Poland

How many Polish prisoners does it take to meet labor demand:

The Polish government is allowing prisoners to work outside jail as the country struggles to fill vacancies left by mass migration to Britain.

More than 1.12 million Poles have gone west, the majority to Britain, since the country joined the European Union in May 2004.

The construction, plumbing and electrical industries have been hardest hit by the exodus, followed by the catering, nursing and residential home care sectors.

The vacuum the workers have left has forced employers to turn to prisons and youth detention centres to fill jobs. ....

...the demand for workers is such that prison governors often have to turn down requests because inmates complain of being asked to work too hard.

Prisoners allowed out on a daily basis are paid around 86p an hour. The wages are paid directly to the jail, which gives a small sum to the prisoners as pocket money for the duration of their prison terms. They receive the rest on release.

A spokesman for Nowy Wisnich prison said: "There is enormous demand. We have just set up a new work gang and they are booked up already, and we are having to train up another one because the demand is so large.

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