Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Business owners have praised Polish workers for their contribution
to Cheltenham's economy.There may be as many as 17,000 Polish
workers in Gloucestershire. Employment and business representatives
believe they are vital to the town.

Their comments came after a leading trade union praised the role of
migrant employees.

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said: "The fact is that many
local services would crumble without such staff and this country has
only been able to expand its public services so quickly and
efficiently thanks to migrant workers."

Many of Cheltenham's Polish employees were brought over by Omega
Recruitment, which specialises in placing Polish people in jobs.

The firm, which has placed around 3,500 people in jobs in Cheltenham
and Gloucestershire, often pays for hotel accommodation for Polish
jobseekers to attend interviews, as well as assisting them in
finding housing and schools.

Group development manager James Molloy said: "There is just two per
cent unemployment in Gloucestershire and there are a number of jobs
that would be unfilled for long periods without the workers who come
here from Poland."

The rising number of Polish workers is also sparking the growth of
a 'Polish economy' within Cheltenham.

Piotr Kucharski, 32, works at the Polska Delikateski in Cheltenham
High Street.

He said: "I took a design machinery degree at UniTech in Poznan. It
is good to be here and my English is improving from working here."


Polish decorators down tools and claim squatters rights in banker's flat

When City investment banker Nita Bowers bought a two-bedroom flat in Docklands her only problem seemed to be that it needed a spot of paint before being rented out.

So, like thousands before her, she hired some builder-decorators and tasked them with doing up the flat in a few days before putting it on the lettings market.

But the two workmen liked the look of the £215,000 apartment overlooking Canary Wharf so much, they downed tools and moved in, claiming squatters' rights.

When mother-of-four Mrs Bowers called round to check the progress of the work she found the locks had been changed. Then one of the workmen thrust a legal document in front of her saying they lived there and had no intention of moving.

Now she is facing a gruelling legal process to force the Polish builders out while they run up utility costs and her mortgage bill soars.

Mrs Bowers, who bought the buy-to-let property to give her a pension when she is older, said: "I went round with an estate agent and we found we couldn't get in.

"Then a very burly man came out and thrust a legal notice on to the agent's chest, saying they lived there now." Mrs Bowers called the police who came round but said they were not allowed to move the squatters on and suggested she take civil action against them.

She said: "The police have visited but there's nothing they can do; we have to go through the courts. I'm now having to pay two mortgages and there are bills galore. It's my first buy-to-let investment and all my property dreams have turned into a nightmare."

Attempts at dialogue with the squatters also failed. She said: "I've tried to get in and banged on the door but these two burly Polish guys have told me they are claiming squatters' rights. I said to them, 'it's not your dream home, it's mine.'"

Mrs Bowers is now waiting for her application to remove the squatters to make its way through the courts. She said: "Where is the justice in all this? I can't believe people can just come and live in someone else's home."

The squatters confirmed they were living at the flat but declined to comment further. Mrs Bowers's ordeal came to light as Polish president Lech Kaczynski claimed thousands of his "feckless" countrymen were raking in benefits back home while also working in Britain.