Croatian Meat Firm in Slavonia Employs 17 Workers from Nepal

Lauren Simmonds

A lot is written about the Croatian demographic crisis, and with the EU allowing all barriers to member states’ respective labour markets to fall, the mass exodus of Croatian citizens and residents to other, wealthier, Western European countries is continuing to bite.

This year, the Croatian Government increased the annual quota for numerous types of work positions to allow for Croatian employers to hire third country nationals (non Croatian and non EU citizens) to come and be legally employed in Croatia. This managed to fill the gap somewhat in certain more demanding industries, such as construction, but as the brain drain continues, it is the domestic economy and local employers that are suffering.

One such firm to hire third country nationals is a firm working in the meat industry in Slavonia, and their workers from Nepal are satisfied with life in Croatia.

As Novac writes on the 18th of August, 2019, about a month ago, a firm working within the meat industry located in Slavonia in Eastern Croatia became richer for seventeen new workers who came to Petrijevci (Osijek-Baranja County) all the way from distant Nepal.

Back at the beginning of July this year, Meat industry (Mesna industrija) Ravlić d.o.o. hired some young butchers and butchers’ helpers, who adapted very well and managed life in their brand new environment in Croatia despite more than obvious differences in general habits between the two countries, not to mention entire continents.

”Working here isn’t difficult. It’s very similar to what we were already doing back in our country, so we’re pleased with the way we’ve been received here,” said Thal Bahadur Gharti Chhetri, one of the incoming workers for Glas Slavonije.

”The biggest difference is how you prepare your food. Although we prefer pork and chicken, we prepare that in a different way,” Thal Bahadur reveals, adding that they enjoy Croatian specialties on their lunch break, but that upon returning home, they prepare home-made food that reminds them of their own homeland.

At the moment, the biggest obstacle to them is, as expected, the Croatian language, from which they have learned how to say ”good day, thank you and goodbye” in their month or so of living in Croatia. The group of Nepalese workers were given a one-year contract, but because of their lifestyle, working conditions and good pay, they would be prepared to stay longer than planned.

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