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It's early in the morning , and work is beginning at a depot which supplies milk to supermarkets. 'cześć jak się masz?' asks the manager, Mr Timmons. 'Dobrze, dziękuję', say the three workers. They're speaking Polish, but the depot isn't in Poland; this is the Robert Wiseman milk depot in Northamptonshire , in central England. Half the depot's 185 employees are Polish , including lorry drives, mechanics, supervisors and administrators. Without the Polish workers, there would be no depot in Northamptonshire. 'It's a very competitive market' , says Timmons. 'And Polish workers are very hard-working. We aren't discriminating against British people. We just seem to get more Poles. They’re invaluable to me. I wouldn’t be able to operate here without them’.
More than 300,000 Polish workers have formally settled in the UK since Poland, along with nine others states, joined the EU in 2004. Britain is one of three EU countries that give immigrants from these nations full rights to work. An independent survey of almost 2,200 British companies shows that 12% of employers now employ Polish and other workers from the new EU states. Many are highly skilled. The stereotypical image of unskilled workers from ‘new Europe’ is not accurate. One in three immigrants from there has taken a job in administration, business and management. Only 4% work in construction.
Jan Mokrzycki, president of the Federation of Poles in Great Britain, says most of the immigrants have had a positive experience working in Britain. ‘There are more job opportunities in Britain , and the same job is better-paid than in Poland. Ninety-nine per cent of the people who come here are in work. Some of the work is exactly what they want to do. Some of the work is menial but the workers are waiting until something better comes along. Most are professionals or skilled workers, but the main problem is language’.
Answer the questions
1.Why does Mr Timmons sometimes speak Polish at work?
2.What is Mr Timmons’ opinion of Polish workers?
3. How many countries joined the EU at the same time as Poland?
4. Why is it easier for Poles to work in Britain than in most other EU countries?
5. Why can a Polish worker earn more money in Britain?
6. How many of the Poles who come to the UK cannot find work?
7. What problem do a lot of the Polish workers have?
Complete the definitions with the highlighted words from the text.
1.______ are people who do paperwork.
2.______ are chances to find work.
3.______ are people who work for a person or company.
4.A ______ is a place where goods are stored.
5.______ are people who are in charge of a team at work.
6.______ are people or companies who give work to other people.
7.______ are people who move to a country from another country.