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    :: Saturday, September 30, 2006 ::

    Poland Faces Labor Shortage as Its Proverbial Plumbers Go West - By Monika Rozlal, Bloomberg
    Edward Suchan, the president of a construction company in Krakow, Poland, can't find enough bricklayers, carpenters and electricians to hire. So he has turned to the local jail, hiring 10 ex-convicts and awaiting the release of 20 more.

    ``Workers have vanished into thin air,'' Suchan said in an interview. ``More people have left this country than during martial law. We have to turn down contracts because we can barely meet deadlines.''

    In Western Europe, the ``Polish plumber'' is a catchphrase for the flood of workers who've migrated since the expansion of the European Union in 2004, sparking resentment from London to Berlin and feeding a growing conviction the newcomers are taking jobs from natives. Less reported is what the migration is doing to the economies those workers left behind.

    A World Bank report issued yesterday concluded that the impact is greater on nations losing craftsmen and laborers.
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