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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default Polish community in Liverpool

    Merseyside's Polish community has worked quietly in the background for the past two years, but suddenly everyone wants to know what they are doing and who they are working for.

    Mr Tomasiak, who runs the Polish Food Store on Picton Road, in Wavertree, and owns two more in London, says he has never claimed benefits, rarely takes a holiday, and has never taken a job from under the nose of a native.

    He said: "If we didn't work, we couldn't stay here.

    "People have been saying we have taken these jobs away from local people, but these jobs have always been there.

    "If people in this county wanted them, companies wouldn't have advertised in Poland for people to come over here and work.

    "The jobs are there. Half the bus drivers in the city are from Poland."

    Arriva Buses has come under fire for employing Polish workers over local job seekers and then paying them a lower wage to boot, an allegation which the company strongly denies.

    Spokesman Derek Bowes said last night: "Arriva took on a number of Polish drivers in Merseyside up to the end of last year to supplement local recruitment, successfully filling a short-term shortage and enabling us to maintain a reliable service for our customers.

    "While we have had no difficulty in recruiting drivers from the local labour force this year, many of the Polish drivers, who are employed on exactly the same pay and conditions as all our drivers, continue to be happily employed by us.

    "We feel that along with our local drivers they provide a valuable contribution to Arriva and the local economy in general."

    Sebastian Ody produces the North West's only Polish newspaper, Nasz Kontakt, and lives in Runcorn with his father.

    He says Polish people unable to get jobs in their native country are prepared to take on work English people are not, though he has come across some cases of exploitation.

    As well as his newspaper, he has built his own business, ODAjj Company Ltd, offering financial and careers advice to Poles who have emigrated to England.

    On top of that, the 31-year-old works as a home carer, another industry that suffers from a national shortage.

    He said: "There are cases when Polish people are paid less. I had to help my father leave a job because it was happening to him. "But, mostly, we are prepared to take on work, because we have to. "I was well educated in Poland. I studied computers, but I found it very difficult to get a job. Here I found work very quickly.

    "It is the capital of opportunities, after one week you can buy something and within a month, something bigger.

    "I love Poland as it is my home, but the good thing about this country is if you cannot start improving yourself, you must leave."

    Mr Ody's newspaper carries adverts for jobs such as care assistants and skilled construction workers.

    Eastern European accents are frequently heard on the city's construction sites, with some even displaying Polish safety signs.

    That has frustrated many local workers who say they are struggling to find jobs because Polish crews will work for less.

    But Cllr Flo Clucas, Liverpool's executive member for economic development and Europe, said: "There is a skills shortage in Liverpool and immigrants who work on the construction sites do a valuable job for the city.

    "We have a falling birth rate and the economy requires them. Workers from Eastern European companies have been filling vital gaps in all areas, not just construction, including the transport system and the health service."

    The Home Office says that 427,000 East European immigrants have come to Britain in just two years.

    And at least another 100,000 self-employed workers - many of them Polish builders - are thought to be in the UK without having registered.

    Birkenhead MP Frank Field, who is one of Parliament's most vociferous campaigners in the bid to tighten controls before Bulgaria and Romania join the EU, said: "The Government's announcement at the weekend to restrict access to Bulgarian and Romanian workers to the British labour market is welcome and shows a degree of courage.

    "But this move should be the first step in a new strategy to defend Britain's borders. Free access to our labour market for all accession countries has to be reconsidered.

    "We cannot allow the current position - where workers themselves in accession countries decide how many will come here - to continue.

    "The Government estimated that between 5,000 and 13,000 new workers would arrive in 2004. The revised figures put the total at over 600,000. With an open borders policy, the British Government simply cannot know how many new workers will arrive."

    The influx of workers from Eastern Europe has increased the UK's dwindling population, but it is uncertain whether the migrants are here to stay.

    Many of the Polish workers currently in Merseyside are likely to make the region their home, but many more will probably return to Poland.

    Merseyside has an historic Polish community, which has fluctuated massively over the years.

    For half a century, Polish worshippers have been attending a weekly Mass at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral each Sunday, but five years ago the congregation had dwindled to just 20.

    Now, more than 400 Poles attend the services held by Father Soska. He said: "People who had been coming for many years passed away and grew old and frail and there were no new people.

    "In the past two years, the congregation has been growing every week..

    "They are happy here and some of them want to make it their permanent home, but many want to one day return to Poland.

    "The congregation grows bigger but the faces in it are always changing."

    Stop immigration and you stop building houses, schools, hospitals, roads and offices, says ex-CBI chief

    ALARM bells have been ringing about the unexpected floods of immigrants from Eastern Europe.

    But the former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Sir Digby Jones provided a voice of reason in a letter to a national newspaper.

    He said: "They come here, take our jobs, sponge off the state, wish they'd go home.

    "A familiar cry of ignorant prejudice but also an understandable feeling of insecurity in frightening times. Generalisations are dangerous.


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    "It also risks permanently damaging one of the country's greatest assets. For around the world, the UK is seen as a tolerant and fair-minded place, increasing our stock of goodwill upon which business depends."

    He said Eastern European immigrants had filled vital roles and since 2004, the country had employed 11,500 care workers, 1,400 teachers and classroom assistants, 1,750 doctors and nurses and 5,700 bus drivers.

    Sir Digby continued: "Stop immigration and you stop building houses, schools, hospitals, roads and offices in the UK.

    "If 'they' were to 'go home', you can forget this year's harvest in our fields. In a tourism industry that contributes some 8% of the nation's wealth, 17% of the workforce was not born in the UK.

    "Britain is wealthier because of immigration." Only the UK, Sweden and

    Ireland showed by their actions that they were true Europeans.

    "Just like the French, we have a PPP - Polish Plumber Problem - it''s just that we don't have enough of them.

    "You cannot blame a migrant for being prepared to work hard for the minimum wage. It is not the migrant's fault that so many in western Europe have become lazy, complacent and picky.

    "The world does not owe us a living - the world is our living."

    'Hire the right person for the job' - but poor literacy and numeracy mean it may not be the Liverpudlian

    THE chief executive of Liverpool's Chamber of Commerce last night said low levels of literacy and numeracy has forced employers to take on immigrants.

    Mr Stopforth said employers should discriminate against neither local or migrants, but should hire the right person for the job.

    He said: "Overall, the employment rate in Liverpool is quite good, but unacceptable levels of literacy and numeracy mean it is difficult to reach full employment.

    "The further education and training system needs to be improved to keep our own workforce in employment.

    "Responsible employers don't want to see a division in their workforce or cut off opportunities for local people, but there are times when it is difficult to find suitable local people."

    Mr Stopforth welcomed the influx of Eastern Europeans to Liverpool in the last two years.

    He said: "This is the first wave of immigration we have had for many years because it is the first time there has been the work to attract the people. We should embrace it.

    Mr Stopforth, who insisted the Chamber only supports the employment of legal, registered immigrants added: "There are tremendous benefits. The workforce is getting younger and fitter.

    "The construction sector is so vibrant at the moment and these skilled people are needed, but there are potential downsides in the long term for Liverpool's economy.

    "When European countries themselves become more prosperous, their countries will benefit from the same sort of grants that helped Liverpool prosper, such as Objective 1, they are likely to go back to their home countries."

    Mr Stopforth warned that any signs of exploiting the new influx of Eastern European workers will not be taken lightly by the chamber.

    He said: "We have no legal power, but if an employer were mistreating immigrants, there would be political movements and peer pressure.

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    Junior Member macca's Avatar
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    Does anyone know when the weekly Polish mass is held? I was in Poland recently and went to mass there, and although I don't speak Polish the language is very beautiful and I thought I'd quite like to hear more masses in Polish. It's very relaxing to hear it, not like some languages which are agitating or annoying to the ear.

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    i've worked with a few polish lads,although most people moan

    about them here, they do work extremely hard in fact so hard they make us look lazy. i have never met one who is rude and obnixious, unlike some local

    scallies.
    Don't believe everything you hear..... Just everything you say.

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    Default Polish Football team in Liverpool

    Does anyone know if the Polish community have a football team team in Liverpool.I am organising a

    Tournament in Liverpool next year based on the World cup and we need a team to represent Poland,we have been doing this in London for 12 years and its been

    hugely succesful in bringing communities together.This year we were on TV and Poland was one of the countries that were followed for the making of the

    Documentary, it can be viewed on the community channel website,its called the INNERCITY WORLD CUP ,which we held in Regents Park over 2 days in June.
    So

    if anyone knows of a Polish team please send me a private em and i will get in touch.
    I am from Liverpool myself but we do all sorts of events over the Uk

    and europe,but I think this will be perfect for Liverpool.

  6. #6
    scouserdave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pmac View Post
    Does anyone know if the Polish community have a football team team in Liverpool.I am organising a Tournament in Liverpool

    next year based on the World cup and we need a team to represent Poland,we have been doing this in London for 12 years and its been hugely succesful in

    bringing communities together.This year we were on TV and Poland was one of the countries that were followed for the making of the Documentary, it can be

    viewed on the community channel website,its called the INNERCITY WORLD CUP ,which we held in Regents Park over 2 days in June.
    So if anyone knows of a

    Polish team please send me a private em and i will get in touch.
    I am from Liverpool myself but we do all sorts of events over the Uk and europe,but I

    think this will be perfect for Liverpool.
    I do some work for amazon.co.uk and I reckon half the workforce who work in their distribution centre

    just off J13 on the M1 are Polish. Cracking lads and footy mad. The girls are pretty fit too! If you can't organise a Scouse Pole team, I'll ask them. Let

    me know.

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