Migrants work legally on PKN Orlen expansion employer says

Marcin Bednarski/PAP

Foreigners working on the construction of the Olefiny III complex at the petroleum company PKN Orlen's plant in Plock central Poland are not illegal immigrants but contract workers, their employer has said.

Jakub Zgorzelski, COO of Hyundai Engineering Tecnicas Reunidas, the consortium leading the project that will expand one of Orlen’s refineries, told PAP on Friday that the law has been followed and that the foreigner workers are employed only for the duration of the investment project.

"All foreign workers working on the construction site of the Olefiny III complex are employed based on a work visa and work permit," he added.

According to Zgorzelski, currently a total of about 2,500 people are working on the construction of the Olefiny III complex in Plock, of whom 60 to 70 percent are migrants from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, Spain and other countries.

But, he added, at the peak of the investment project implementation between 10,000 - 13,000 people will work on the construction site of the Olefiny III complex, including around 6,000 foreigners.

Earlier on Friday, opposition politicians accused the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party of hypocrisy given its opposition to an EU migrant relocation scheme. They claimed that accommodation has been built for 13,000 migrants workers to work on the expansion of Plock refinery. PKN Orlen, the refinery’s owner, is one of Poland’s biggest state-owned companies and has close ties to the government.

The plans to employ thousands of foreigners, most of them non-European, also comes as PiS considers holding a referendum on EU plans to impose migrant quotas on member states.

The Polish government is steadfast in its opposition to the plan although companies operating in Poland appear to have few reservations about employing non-European workers.

On Thursday, the Sejm, the lower parliamentary house, passed a resolution condemning the EU's migrant relocation scheme.

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