Working Bulgarians?

Working Bulgarians in Bulgaria are subjected to very long hours indeed, not only long hours, many months without holiday entitlement and ridiculous rate of pay but all is not what it seems.

It has got to the point where because of the stress living and working in England we can back sooner much sooner without much finance and working here again is something we now have to do.

Having worked in Bulgaria before, and put the hours in basically for the most at a Bulgarian rate of pay the problem was that I worked like an Englishman and the pace of work was completely different from Bulgarians.

What I am getting at is the long hours up to 12 hours a day is quite normal for Bulgarian workers, the pace at which they works means that they tackle the problem of extended hours with slow, methodical work with many breaks. Working sometimes is just a case of them being there for most of the time.

I have lost count of the times I see workers in shops and markets just sitting there smoking, talking or sometimes not there at all. This is normal. The customers and shoppers are far outweighed by the sellers and shopkeepers therefore the demand for stressful busy time is nonexistent.

The minimum rate of pay per month in Bulgaria is 220 BGL every month. Just based on working a 8 hour/five day a week equates to 1.38 BGL (55p) an hour. Most however work in excess of 10 hours therefore over 6 days this brings the true hourly rate to 92 stotinki (37p) an hour. Bare in mind that also the majority of workers are paid the minimum wages and a black market where less than this is paid to casual workers.

Just a thought, a packet of cigarettes now cost on average around 2.40 lev and would take over 2 half hours working to earn. In the UK it would take just one hour based on their National minimum wage! So who says that cigarettes are cheap in Bulgaria? They are nearly three times the equivalent here for the working Bulgarians. I won’t go into how smoking pensioners get by…

The point I am trying to get over is that long working hours is something that is normal here and is only looked at with shock from foreigners comparing western Europe hours and pay. Because they are in the workplace for 10 hours or so the term work may not apply for that amount of time.

So, because of our poor disposition, Galia is now having and indeed wanting to work. Relatively speaking though she is better off than most other Bulgarian workers as I would not allow here to work through the 60 a week hour barrier with a minimum wage. Bearing in mind she done this before working in a shop and would have done it again without me there.

Myself, I was offered work driving long distances but Galia insisted that I don’t take it up as I was English and the hours and pay would not do me justice. She knows full well that my work-rate would 110% and not like a Bulgarian and I would totally exhausted myself doing it.

She is right of course!

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