International employees thrive in Greenland
Good working conditions with friendly managers and colleagues, as well as the opportunity to save up from their salary, have been the driving forces for several Chinese and Filipino colleagues to apply for jobs in Greenland.
Labour shortages are a significant challenge every year at several factories along the west coast of Greenland and in Canada. Especially in the summer, when inshore cod and halibut fishing is at its peak, many extra hands are needed. Therefore, since 2017, Royal Greenland has recruited labour from other countries, primarily China and later also the Philippines.
Through networks and the company's local office in Qingdao, China, the first group of 25 employees was successfully recruited. Some have stayed in Greenland, while others have moved on after a period of time. However, it is still very much the same network that recruitment is done through, and many of the employees who have arrived since then are friends or relatives of the previous ones.
"We are welcomed here, both in the factory and in the local community - we feel that our role in the factory's production is important and appreciated by both colleagues and managers," says the group from the Maniitsoq factory.
Foreign employees are recruited for Royal Greenland's factories in both Greenland and the Canadian factories in Newfoundland and Quebec. In 2022, the Group employed approximately 280 foreign recruited employees across nine different factories in Greenland and six factories in Canada. They are employed in the processing of fish or shellfish.
Greenlandic collective labour agreements
Employees from abroad are employed on exactly the same terms as Greenlandic employees. In Greenland, wages, working hours, holidays and other work-related issues are negotiated collectively in agreements between employer organisations and trade unions. The Greenlandic wage level and working conditions make it attractive for, for example, Chinese and Filipino employees to work in Greenland. Compared to China, the wage difference is 1:1.5 to 1:2 and the labour intensity is lower than in Chinese factories. For the Filipino employees, the difference between national income and the salary at Royal Greenland is in the range of 1:7 to 1:10.
Royal Greenland organises transport to Greenland and provides accommodation for the colleagues from abroad, who typically live in a shared house. Here they share a kitchen and common living areas.
Royal Greenland provides accommodation for colleagues from abroad, who typically live in a shared house. Here they share a kitchen and living areas.
Living and working in the far north
In the Philippines, travelling for work and sending money home to the family is common. This is possible with the job at Royal Greenland. However, the group emphasises that experiencing a country as foreign as Greenland is very exciting, and everyone agrees that the clean air and exotic Arctic nature is very special.
In their free time, they eat together and occasionally attend various community events. They also visit colleagues for Kaffemik, participate in sports or go on fishing trips with Greenlandic colleagues and friends.
During the cold months there are plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself on skis, here a group of Filipinos skiing in Maniitsoq.