Robots are Replacing Workers in Poland Due to Raise in Minimum wage.
It is quite unfortunate that at a time where so much research exists detailing all the possible negative effects of mandating one size fits all minimum wage rules, more and more governments are implementing these laws. States that have implemented laws raising minimum wages have seen businesses go out of business, and workers getting hours cut or, worse, losing jobs. The same effects are being seen in Central Poland, where plans are in place to double the 2019 minimum wage by 2023.
As workers are becoming more expensive, Polish firms are investing in technology in order to remain competitive. For instance:
At Kon-Plast, the factory at Stare Miasto near Konin in central Poland where the Kaminski family produces plastic containers, a newly purchased printing machine will replace two staff members on each of four teams that work shifts.
Even though Kon-Plast does not intend to lay off workers, automation will render growth in labor demand unnecessary for the foreseeable future. Other firms are also pursuing other cost saving measures, short of automation, that will be detrimental to labor.
A recent study by human resources firm Randstad showed around a quarter of Polish companies employing staff on the minimum wage expect to put recruitment on hold from January, while just under a fifth are set to cut staff.
It is time we all agree that raising the minimum wage will continue to have negative effects that cannot be ignored. Businesses do not have an infinite pool of money to cover their operating costs and, on the contrary, businesses do not set low wages on account of greed. In as long as businesses are burdened with rising costs from minimum wage increases, workers will remain at risk of being substituted with capital or machines. Minimum wage laws, in short, are bad for both workers and businesses.