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gruffydd

Polish Migrant Workers In Llanelli

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Sorry to start a new thread, but I couldn't work out why hundreds of Poles were turning up in the economic blackspot of Llanelli in West Wales, until I started surfing the internet this morning - local food processing firms and a large Llanelli recruitment agency are behind this scam. One Pole mentioned that there were 'too many Poles for the jobs on offer' -

I remember being surprised last year by the number of BTL properties some landlords were buying up in that area - knew 2 who were looking for 50 plus properties, but I just couldn't figure out why anyone would want to invest in the town which is an economic blackspot.......................

12th October 2005

Bid to end exploitation of migrant workers in Wales

Welsh MEP Eluned Morgan and Llanelli MP Nia Griffith today joined forces to tackle the plight of migrant workers suffering economic exploitation in Wales.

The Labour politicians are calling on the European Commission to consider changes to European law to prevent so-called 'gangmasters' utilising legal loopholes to take advantage of Eastern European workers.

Eluned and Nia met Polish MEP Josef Pinior at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss how to tackle the problem.

They are particularly concerned about the situation in Llanelli where Polish migrant workers, many from Mr Pinior's constituency of Wroklaw, are asked on their arrival to immediately sign contracts committing them to paying a labour agent £35 a week for accommodation, which could turn out to been crowded and substandard, and up to £25 a week for transportation.

The workers are obliged to meet these payments despite the fact the agents have only secured them zero-hour contracts at local factories, which do not guarantee them any work.

Nia Griffith said: "Unfortunately zero-hours contracts are currently legal and can leave workers out of pocket."

Eluned Morgan added: "Eastern European workers are filling the employment gap here in Wales and helping boost our economy. We cannot stand by and allow unscrupulous agents to exploit them.

"Together with our Eastern European colleagues we must make every effort to ensure migrants are aware of these agents' schemes. We must also work to ensure the European Commission gives consideration to how it can best tackle the current legal loopholes."

At present the Gangmasters Licensing Act requires agents to be licensed and extends the full protection of the law to anyone working through them.The EU Worker Registration Scheme also ensures workers from the new EU states must register in order to be eligible for work in the UK.

Eluned Morgan and Nia Griffith now want to see the EU Worker Registration Scheme strengthened to stop the zero-hour contract loophole. They are also calling for workers to be given the legal right to consider their contracts for a period of 24 hours before committing to them.

Nia Griffith said: "For too many Eastern European migrants, the agents' promises of profitable employment ends in hardship and anguish.

"We must address the activity of those who are cashing in on the hopes and aspirations of hardworking people."

T&G campaign to end exploitation of migrant workers in Wales

15 Aug 2005

The Transport and General Workers Union in Wales has written to Welsh MPs and MEPs and to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority highlighting the Union's serious concerns about exploitation of migrant workers from Poland by gangmasters operating in the South West Wales area.

T&G investigations have revealed the activities of Llanelli based gangmasters who are procuring Polish migrant workers for meat and food processing factories which the Union describe as exploitative and which circumvent the EU registration scheme.

Senior Regional Industrial Organiser Andy Richards said today: "These Polish workers are brought into the UK by bus, having to pay two hundred pounds for a one way ticket and are asked to sign zero hours contracts by the gangmaster.

"They are employed for long hours on night shifts and weekends for minimum wage only whilst their contracts compel them to pay thirty five pounds per week for sub standard accommodation and an additional twenty five pounds per week for transport to and from their place of work, even though the workplace may be in walking distance. These payments must be made to the gangmaster regardless of whether the person works or not, thus ensuring their financial slavery."

Mr. Richards went on to say that the Polish workers were regularly discarded by the gangmaster leaving them without accommodation, money or a means to return to Poland thus increasing the number of homeless people on the streets of South Wales.

"It is the worst form of labour exploitation which I have ever seen and is more akin to slavery," said Mr Richards. "We now intend to publicise the case for these decent working people who are being exploited and are campaigning for action by the European Parliament and UK Government to close the loophole in the EC legislation," he said.

The T&G case has been highlighted to Welsh MPs and MEPs and is being supported by Eluned Morgan MEP and Glenys Kinnock MEP.

"All workers within the EC whether they are Welsh or Polish deserve protection from exploitation by unscrupulous gangmasters posing as employment agencies and we intend to campaign strongly for this," said Mr Richards.

and another story

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4158068.stm

Edited by gruffydd

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Interesting that the TGU is finally starting to make some noises.

Even the local Labour MP - "It is the worst form of labour exploitation which I have ever seen and is more akin to slavery," said Mr Richards. "We now intend to publicise the case for these decent working people who are being exploited and are campaigning for action by the European Parliament and UK Government to close the loophole in the EC legislation," he said

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Unionisation is the only way stop this form of expolitation.

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Guest Charlie The Tramp

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Unionisation is the only way stop this form of expolitation.

It`s to late brainclamp, the monetarist lunatics have sterilised and then taken over the asylum. <_<

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"Eastern European workers are filling the employment gap here in Wales and helping boost our economy. We cannot stand by and allow unscrupulous agents to exploit them.

Nia Griffith said: "For too many Eastern European migrants, the agents' promises of profitable employment ends in hardship and anguish.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4158068.stm

From what I know, and I speak to Polish agency workers most days, is that they don't boost the economy at all. What money they do get is carefully saved up and is not spent in the UK. The Polish construction workers I know are not in the pub every night or clothes shopping on a saturday afternoon.

The effect of augmenting the pool of labour in the UK with workers from poorer EU countries is to depress the wages of those workers who would spend in the UK.

It's not that skilled UK workers are signing on because of cheap imported labour. It's more the case that immigrant workers are helping to depress wage inflation among UK workers who should be entitled (because of their commitment to the UK) to a share in the boom we have been enjoying.

The Eastern europeans over here are like locusts swarming wherever the land will support them best.

If there ever is a recession in the UK it will be interesting to see if they exploit our sloppy benefits system or try their luck with the Polish equivalent of the DSS.

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Speaking as the son of one of the many thousands of Free Polish soldiers who settled in Wales at the end of World War Two - about 150,000 members of the Free Polish Army had a choice of settling outside of Poland in 1945 or going back home and, on the orders of Stalin, being executed - I am glad that this story is now coming to the Media's attention.

I began to hear snippets of gossip regarding this a few weeks back and was told how a firm, which had recently received a very big Welsh Development Agency grant in order to expand and build new facilities, are hiring Polish workers on peanuts and, at the same time, forcing them to live in expensive and cramped housing.

I am glad that the unions have got involved. It reminds me very much of a similar situation that was happening in Silicon Valley a few years ago. Several tech companies were hiring Indian workers on a fraction of the US wages and then housing them in large appartment complexs for which the Indian workers were basically charged the going rate for the area. The workers sued, declared that their Rights were being violated and they won the right to not only be paid the US rate but they got it back-dated also.

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A drop in wages and conditions for one sector of the workforce is a drop in wages and conditions for all workers.

It just takes a while to become apparent. It has started off in the low skilled areas first because this is the area of least resistance but will eventualy filter through to semi-skilled and then skilled workers, in fact it has already started in IT and health. There is a Polish family moved near my brother, dont know what they do but look like

professionals, renting a fancy house, posh suits and high prestige cars.

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A couple of points:

1. Virtually every Welsh person I know is now employed in some public sector job or other so no wonder companies cannot get locals to work for their crap wages. SMEs in South Wales are notorious for paying poor salaries and why work for those when you can easily get a 25 - 30K public sector job these days.

2. When my Dad passed away in 1990 I wrote a letter to the farm on which he had grown up before the War in Poland. Apart from one brief holiday that my Mum and Dad had there in the 1950s - he had an awful trouble getting back out being a former 'Free Pole' and all that - we had had no contact due to the Cold War.

Anyhow, I wrote a letter to the farm explaining that my Dad had passed on and I was surprised to get a letter back. To cut a long story short we started exchanging letters and I also began to send over parcels of clothes for my long lost relatives in Poland.

I did this for a few years but eventually stopped when it became clear that they didn't want or need the clothes any more. Basically, Poland is coming on in leaps and bounds since the downfall of Communism and I doubt whether, in 5 years or so, whether any 'cheap' Polish workers will still exist wanting to work here in the UK. I think the same will be true for most of the former Eastern Bloc countries.

Edited by The Masked Tulip

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From what I know, and I speak to Polish agency workers most days, is that they don't boost the economy at all. What money they do get is carefully saved up and is not spent in the UK. The Polish construction workers I know are not in the pub every night or clothes shopping on a saturday afternoon.

Maybe not the local economy but these companies are just creaming themselves when they find out how much cheaper they can complete a contract for by using migrant labour, there's probably a fair few rollers cruising the streets of the most richest areas paid for by the savings made by these Polish guys, the bosses love 'em <_<

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Welsh wages are already the lowest in the UK but this obviously isn't low enough for the bosses of these firms.

What is the point of these industries (no doubt supported by WDA funding) if they don't employ local people?

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Welsh wages are already the lowest in the UK but this obviously isn't low enough for the bosses of these firms.

What is the point of these industries (no doubt supported by WDA funding) if they don't employ local people?

This sort of thing shows business up in their true colours. They do not give a fig about people its all PR.

From now on I am going to boycott buying from any business that exploits cheap EU labour.

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This sort of thing shows business up in their true colours. They do not give a fig about people its all PR.

From now on I am going to boycott buying from any business that exploits cheap EU labour.

How can we find out which companies do and which don't?

"Local People don't want these kind of jobs" ;)

I suspect local people don't want the immigrants either. :o

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Just about every plc construction firm in the UK for starters. How do you feel about that?

Well I'd never buy a new build from these type of developers anyway.

How do I feel? F*cking disgusted to be honest. But then I'm a nationalist.

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How do I feel? F*cking disgusted to be honest. But then I'm a nationalist.

Your lucky - from an Englishman's perspective, Welsh nationalism still has a few vestiges of romance and nobility attached.

Sadly, being an English nationalist relegates one to bootboy status.

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This sort of thing shows business up in their true colours. They do not give a fig about people its all PR.

From now on I am going to boycott buying from any business that exploits cheap EU labour.

From my investigations so far I think it will be easier to find businesses that don't use cheap EU labour

in one way or another and will nye impossible in future if it carries on like this.

Quite ironic to think houses are being built by cheap EU labour and being sold at extortionate prices.

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Reading these posts one could be forgiven for thinking that forum members are restricted to a constituency comprising dozy but earnest 6 th form beards, refugees from the Labour party( ex Trotsky/Leninist chapter) and the LibDems generally.

For chrissakes, it's the law of supply and demand working efficiently.What on earth is wrong with that?

The indigenous labour is protected from the need to work through state welfare benefits and naturally declines to get out of bed whereas jobless E.Europeans are seizing their opportunity to take advantage.If they are stupid enough to rely on gangmasters then it's their call but the option to sling their hook is always there.Before enlargement they were vunerable due to the illegality of their work but now that is no longer the case. There are plenty of opportunities for migrants in the UK without recourse to gangmasters as evidenced by empirical study in practically every town in the UK.

Only the useless, whining, lazy, benefit ridden dross and their champions could describe this process as exploitation.

Edited by deus ex machina

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Reading these posts one could be forgiven for thinking that forum members are restricted to a constituency comprising dozy but earnest 6 th form beards, refugees from the Labour party( ex Trotsky/Leninist chapter) and the LibDems generally.

For chrissakes, it's the law of supply and demand working efficiently.What on earth is wrong with that?

The indigenous labour is protected from the need to work through state welfare benefits and naturally declines to get out of bed whereas jobless E.Europeans are seizing their opportunity to take advantage.If they are stupid enough to rely on gangmasters then it's their call but the option to sling their hook is always there.Before enlargement they were vunerable due to the illegality of their work but now that is no longer the case. There are plenty of opportunities for migrants in the UK without recourse to gangmasters as evidenced by empirical study in practically every town in the UK.

Only the useless, whining, lazy, benefit ridden dross and their champions could describe this process as exploitation.

The situation hasnt come about due to a free market, it has been engineered.

When businesses pay such lousy money that only immigrants living 15 to a house can make it

pay you know there is someone wrong somewhere. Indigenous labour cant afford to work for that money,

it just doesnt add up. With the working practices companies use that turn work into mindnumbingly

soul destroying drudgery nobody with any intelligence is going to do it on pay that no where near

covers the cost of living when they can get more in welfare benefits.

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I spose the ones making the money are the ones "looking after" groups of migrant workers charging them fees for accomdation and transport when they're given zero hour contracts which doens't guarantee them any hours.

Would you want to work non-guaranteed hours?

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The situation hasnt come about due to a free market, it has been engineered.

When businesses pay such lousy money that only immigrants living 15 to a house can make it

pay you know there is someone wrong somewhere. Indigenous labour cant afford to work for that money,

it just doesnt add up. With the working practices companies use that turn work into mindnumbingly

soul destroying drudgery nobody with any intelligence is going to do it on pay that no where near

covers the cost of living when they can get more in welfare benefits.

Engineered by whom? Are you seriously suggesting a capitalist conspiracy is at the root of prevailing economic conditions?

Businesses are there not for altruism but to make a profit. No other factor is relevant.To increase competitiveness you reduce your costs wherever possible and to maximise profits. Cheap labour is good if you can get it.The market determines that.Why on earth should the UK be exempt from economic forces prevailing globally? Heaven forbid that British people should live in squalor.All right for Johnny foreigner but not for us,thank you very much, that's why we have a welfare state so that the great British worker can sit on his **** rather than engaging in mindnumbingly soul destroying etc., etc. Jesus wept.

I know this may come as a surprise to you but years ago people who wished to improve their lot hit upon an approach that these days might seem almost obscene.....they actually took 2 jobs.What about that, eh? Truly bizarre.

But as you indicate why on earth would anyone with any intelligence work for a living if taxpayers are compelled to support them? As long as this madness is considered acceptable we shall continue to see an influx of immigrants as long as the economic imperative suits them.

Anyway, cheap labour capitalising upon migrants has long been a feature of our economy since the Industrial Revolution and historically soak up the housing market at the lower end.

The influx of Poles, etc. is no different and I suspect that you will not hear them whingeing as they quietly establish themselves on the bottom rung of the housing ladder.

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The Poles have a similar problem back home where workers from even lower paid Ex-Eastern Block nations are undercutting their rates!

And don't believe government figures, not that I think anyone does!

" Official statistics underestimate the numbers, perhaps hugely. In Britain, where central Europeans are supposed to register before seeking work, but often do not, there are (supposedly) only 95 Polish plumbers. A tabloid newspaper managed to find that many in a day, using a postcard-sized advertisement in a Polish-populated part of west London. The total number of workers registered in Britain from the new members is supposedly only around 175,000. But by some accounts, there are 300,000 Poles alone "

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Engineered by whom? Are you seriously suggesting a capitalist conspiracy is at the root of prevailing economic conditions?

Businesses are there not for altruism but to make a profit. No other factor is relevant.To increase competitiveness you reduce your costs wherever possible and to maximise profits. Cheap labour is good if you can get it.The market determines that.Why on earth should the UK be exempt from economic forces prevailing globally? Heaven forbid that British people should live in squalor.All right for Johnny foreigner but not for us,thank you very much, that's why we have a welfare state so that the great British worker can sit on his **** rather than engaging in mindnumbingly soul destroying etc., etc. Jesus wept.

I know this may come as a surprise to you but years ago people who wished to improve their lot hit upon an approach that these days might seem almost obscene.....they actually took 2 jobs.What about that, eh? Truly bizarre.

But as you indicate why on earth would anyone with any intelligence work for a living if taxpayers are compelled to support them? As long as this madness is considered acceptable we shall continue to see an influx of immigrants as long as the economic imperative suits them.

Anyway, cheap labour capitalising upon migrants has long been a feature of our economy since the Industrial Revolution and historically soak up the housing market at the lower end.

The influx of Poles, etc. is no different and I suspect that you will not hear them whingeing as they quietly establish themselves on the bottom rung of the housing ladder.

Engineered by big business and the hold they have on government.

Globalization. NATFA, free trade agreements etc

Why call it a conspiracy? would you say Starbucks are conspiring to sell coffee?

The free market is a myth, Adam Smith said free markets were open to abuse and abused they certainly are.

I dont think anybody should live in poverty and oppression, what we have today is a race to the bottom.

Exploiting cheap labour, yes first it was the indeginous population and after years of labour struggle

they improve their wages and conditions so business get around this by replacing them by imported cheap labour.

The poles will come here to build up some capital to take back to Poland to buy houses and start businesses

at home, good luck to them but the UK wont benefit only big business and shareholders will make

a short term profit.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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