March 8, 2005


Workers of the world: More than 73,000 people from Poland have signed up to work in Britain in the past year. And they are doing the jobs we don't want to - plumbing, cleaning, building and driving. (Stuart Jeffries, March 9, 2005, The Guardian)

[S]ince Poland joined the EU last May, 73,545 Poles have signed the British government register of migrant workers: nearly half of that figure is made up of new immigrants, while the remainder overwhelmingly consists of hitherto illegal workers who have registered to legitimise their presence in Britain. Poles are by far the largest national group to have come from eastern Europe in the past year - there have been 20,000 from Lithuania, 13,500 from Slovakia, and 9,000 from Latvia. According to the Home Office, only 21 of the 133,000 east European migrant workers registered have signed on the dole. So much for those pre-accession stories of Britain being flooded with east European benefit scroungers. [...]

And there is something in this. Newly arrived Poles, like many immigrants to Britain before them, are often doing the work that Britons seemingly no longer want to do.

Better figure out how to get them to stay.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2005 9:48 PM

Put an ad in the brit papers saying electricians and plumbers can make 6 figures in the US and watch em line up.

Posted by: Sandy P at March 9, 2005 12:06 AM

They already know that Sandy. Poles do everything in Chicago now. Only the second stringers who can't find a way to the States end up in the Uk.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 9, 2005 1:15 AM

So what you're saying is: "Our Poles are better than your Poles, na na na naaa na".


Posted by: Brit at March 9, 2005 4:44 AM

Jim is correct although based on observations in my neighborhood, it seems the Eastern Europeans do brickwork, Blacks demolition, Mexicans drywall...

Posted by: Rick T. at March 9, 2005 10:08 AM