N.Korean Slave Laborers in Poland Paid Just $27 a Month

  • By Cho Yi-jun

    November 12, 2018 11:18

    North Korean slave laborers are paid only US$27 a month on average working 12 to 16 hours a day in Polish shipyards, according to a Dutch academic. Most of their nominal wages go straight into the coffers of the North Korean regime.

    Prof. Remco Breuker of Leiden University in the Netherlands told Voice of America on Saturday, "After the obligatory expenses, they would be left with about 27 dollars a month. That's what they would be able to send home."

    A former North Korean worker at a shipyard in Poland is suing a Dutch shipbuilder over the slave-like conditions under a Dutch law that makes profiting from exploitation a crime even if the alleged offender is not the victim's direct employer, which has turned the spotlight on the abuses.

    The North Korean regime typically takes 70 to 90 percent of the wages of laborers it sends overseas to earn hard currency.

    "North Korea can give something to Poland that it desperately needs, which is welders. The best Polish welders are no longer to be found in Poland because they left Poland for better paying jobs in Norway or the U.K.," Remco said.

    He said the North Korean workers also undergo daily self-criticism and peer-criticism sessions. "You have to do it all the time. It's like the North Korean system exported to Poland," although Poland is in the EU.

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