• Ruslan
  • Tatiana
  • Valentina
  • Vitalis
  • Vladimir
  • Christina MacLeod
  • Anna Stanisławska
  • Zbigniew Stanisławski
Location:
Stornoway
Date:
Wednesday 2nd June 2010
Reference:
SWI2010/014

Anna:

My name is Anna. I’m from Poland. I live in Scotland four years. I work in Lighthouse Caledonia two and a half years but the factory now is closed and now I work in a hospital. We live in Stornoway. Stornoway is a very nice place, is very quiet and very, very nice. People are very nice and I live here with my husband. It’s very nice.

Zbigniew:

My name is Zbigniew. I come from Poland. I live here about six years. I like this place. Now I am working in bakers. It’s ... (inaudible) ...

Tatiana:

Hello. My name is Tatiana. I live in Stornoway three years and I was working in Lighthouse Caledonia. That’s maybe why I’m not working.

Ruslan:

Меня зовут Руслан. Я здесь живут 3 года. Я ... (неcлышно) ... по сокращению.

     
 

My name is Ruslan. I have lived here for three years. I ... (inaudible) ... got redundant.

Valentina:

Меня зовут Валентина. Я с Латвии. Доживаю в Сторнове 3 года. Работала в Лайтхауз Каледония год и три месяца. Ушли по сокращению штатов. В настоящее время работы не имею. В Сторнове мне очень нравится. Здесь очень приятный народ, люди; уважают друг друга, улыбаются всегда, никогда они не грусные. Все у них хорошо.

     
 

My name is Valentina. I am from Latvia. I have lived in Stornoway for three years. I worked in Lighthouse Caledonia for one year and three months. We became redundant. At present I have no job. I like living in Stornoway very much. The folk, the people are very pleasant here; they respect each other, they are always smiling, they are never sad. Everything is good for them.

Vitalis:

Меня зовут Виталий. Я с Латвии. В Сторнове работал на фабрике Каледония. Живу в Сторнове я 4 года. В данный момент сейчас без работы.

     
 

My name is Vitalis. I am from Latvia. In Stornoway I worked at the Caledonia plant (Lighthouse Caledonia). I have lived in Stornoway for four years. At the moment I am without work.

Vladimir:

Здравствуйте. Меня зовут Владимир. Я сам из Латвии. Здесь уже в Сторнове живу 3 года. Раньше работал в Каледонии, на фабрике. Теперь, ну, небыло работы. Потом устроился временно работать на ... (неcлышно) ... И сейчас не знаю, вот, потом сократят обратно где-то, вот, у меня не будет работы. Если сейчас вот завод откроется, то будет очень приятно нам. Туда пойду работать.

     
 

Hello. My name is Vladimir. Myself, I am from Latvia. Here in Stornoway I have lived for three years. At the beginning, I worked at the Caledonia plant. Then, well, there was no job. Then I was temporarily employed at the ... (inaudible) ... and now, I don’t know, if and when I will become redundant, and I will not have a job. If a new plant opens now, then we will be very pleased. I will go to work there.

Anna:

That’s OK?

     

Simon:

Yes. What kind of work you were doing before? Before you came to Scotland?

     

Anna:

Before arrived to Scotland I worked in Poland in big factory. I’m tyler ... tyler?

Zbigniew:

Tailor!

     

Anna:

Tailor. I work in Poland for four years and I came to Scotland because my husband lives here and I came for him! (laughs)

Zbigniew:

In Poland I worked in a big factory. I come here because, yeah, it’s better place here.

Simon:

Did you come direct to Lewis or did you ...?

     

Zbigniew:

No, first of all I come to near to London, Slow?

Simon:

Slough.

     

Zbigniew:

Slough, yeah. I came to Edinburgh then come here.

Simon:

How long have you been in Lewis for?

     

Zbigniew:

In Lewis? Six years.

Simon:

Six years in Lewis? So you’ve been here ...

     

Zbigniew:

I’ve been in Edinburgh just two months. In Slough three months, I think.

Simon:

OK, so you moved several times and then settled here.

     

Zbigniew:

Yeah. It’s very quiet and ...

     

Tatiana:

Before I live in Liverpool, yes, and work in meat factory. In Latvia I was learning and working.

Simon:

So you were a student in Latvia?

     

Tatiana:

Yes.

     

Simon:

Did you finish your studies before you came or are you still continuing or ...?

     

Tatiana:

No, I ...

     

Simon:

You’re finished? Can I ask what you were studying?

     

Tatiana:

I’m designer.

     

Simon:

OK.

     

Ruslan:

После школы, меня мама сюда привезла.

     
 

After school, my mum brought me here.

Simon:

OK, you come straight from school?

     

Tatiana:

He finished in school and to here came.

     

Valentina:

Я приехала в Сторновый. Сюда меня пригласила дочь моя, Татьяна. И мы приехали сюда работать на Лайтхауз Каледонию, так как у нас в Латвии очень кризис, нету работы. И нас заставила судьба приехать сюда. Я в Латвии работала в мясокомбинате. Мясокомбинат закрыли – банкрот. Ну вот здесь мы и работали. Пока работы нету. Ждем нашу фабрику, на которой нам очень понравилось работать и мы очень желаем туда обратно попасть на эту Лайтхауз Каледонию.

     
 

I came to Stornoway. I was invited here by my daughter Tatiana. And we came here to work at the Lighthouse Caledonia, because we have a crisis in Latvia, there is no work. In Latvia I was working at the meat processing and packing factory. The factory closed – bankrupt. Well, that is why we worked here. Right now there is no work. We are waiting for our factory to re-open, which we liked working at very much and we wish to go back there again very much, to work again at this Lighthouse Caledonia.

Vitalis:

У меня тут работала жена, и сюда меня она позвала. В Латвии когда-то я работал оператором автостоянки. Автостоянку продали и закрыли ее. Все, и работы не стало. Потом я же работал строителем. Строителем тоже ... закрыли и не стало работы в Латвии. И сюда я приехал на завод в Каледонию работать.

     
 

My wife was working here and she called for me to come here. In Latvia, some time ago, I worked as an operator at the car park. The car park was sold and they closed it down. That’s all, there was no more work. Then, I was working as a builder. The same, as a builder ... it all closed down and there was no more work in Latvia. And here, I came to work at the Caledonia plant.

Vladimir:

Меня зовут Владимир. Я так же сам приехал сюда в гости к дочери, потому, что она здесь работала на фабрике. А раньше я работал в строительной организации мастером. Ну, потом нас начали сокращать, сокращать на работе и также не стало больше у нас там работы. Пришлось приехать сюда к дочери. И здесь сейчас работаю. А пока в Латвии делать там пока нечего. Чистая нищета там эта. Это ходить сутками, нет! Это ходить сутками и просить подаяние, нет. А здесь я хоть временно работаю, но место есть.

     
 

My name is Vladimir. I also came here to visit my daughter, because she was working here at the plant. And before, I worked at the building organisation as a skilled worker. Well, then they made us redundant, redundant at work and then, there was no more work there. I had to come here to my daughter. And now, I am working here. Right now in Latvia there is nothing much to do. It’s pure poverty there. You have to go around all day, no! To go around and beg all day, no thanks. But here, even if I do temporary work, I still have a place to eat.

Simon:

Maybe if you can ... don’t translate everything, but if you can pick up a few points ... Ty rozumiesz trochę?

     
 

Do you understand a little?

     

Anna:

Trochę.

     
 

A little bit.

     
 

They understand a little bit Polish and we understand a little bit Russian.

Simon:

Emm, so I didn’t understand everything people were saying here so Tatiana, your English is best so ... can I ask you just to pick out a couple of things people were saying about the kind of work they were doing? Like Vladimir and Vitalis.

     

Anna:

Czy Ty możesz сказать dla nich?

     
 

Can you translate what they said?

Tatiana:

My family live here and ... (laughs)

     

Simon:

Did you all come together or did one person come first?

     

Tatiana:

I am here first.

     

Simon:

You came first?

     

Tatiana:

My husband ...yes.

     

Simon:

Is your husband the ...? Christina told me someone was in the merchant navy as a sailor.

     

Zbigniew:

Sailor ... Marynarzem.

     

Anna:

Marynarz pracuje na statku, no ...

     
 

Sailor, works on the boat ...

     

Zbigniew:

... no, ale to wcześniej.

     
 

... but that was earlier.

     

Anna:

A Żenia pracował na statkach?

     
 

Did Zenia work on the boat?

     

Tatiana:

... (inaudible) ...

     

Zbigniew:

Nie no, on połowy robił.

     
 

He wasn’t a sailor, he was a fisher.

     

Simon:

No?

     

Tatiana:

Emm, her husband worked ... if we worked in Lighthouse Caledonia, he worked in the harbour, fish farm.

Zbigniew:

Fish farm.

     

Simon:

In the fish farm? OK. So did you all come together or did you come ...? Did your husband come first and ...?

     

Tatiana:

Yeah, my husband because he lived and worked and my cousin, she is from Germany and she live in Germany, yeah? She have a boyfriend from Latvia. Boyfriend working here and she back for him and working in Lighthouse Caledonia. After he had me, my husband, because I live in Liverpool my husband work in Birmingham in a kitchen ... kitchen, yeah kitchen porter.

Simon:

And you two come over later to be with Tatiana?

     

Tatiana:

Через сколько приехали?

     
 

When did you come?

     

Valentina:

Через 2 года.

     
 

After two years.

     

Anna:

... (inaudible) ... after two years.

     

Simon:

And this is your whole family or do you have brothers or sisters?

     

Tatiana:

Yeah, I have brother. He wants to fly here.

     

Simon:

OK. No, that’s fine, that’s good. So one thing I’m interested in is whether people came here through personal connections, which seems to be like your case or whether people came through an agency and got the job here? Has anyone come here directly from ... in the work here or did you all come to Britain ...? You obviously came through your family so you had ...

     

Anna:

Że na przyklad niektórzy ludzie przyszli tutaj na przykład mieli prace przez agencje a niektórzy że normalnie prosto tu przyjechali.

     
 

For example some people got their jobs through the agencies and others just came straight here without any job waiting for them.

Tatiana:

Через агенство? В Ливерпуле я имела ... (неcлышно) ...

     
 

Through agency? In Liverpool I had ... (inaudible) ...

     

Simon:

So your job in Liverpool you got through an agency?

     

Tatiana:

Yeah. A company in Latvia and it was because my sister and her boyfriend, he tells me.

Simon:

... (inaudible) ... did you come direct or did you come to Britain and then move about?

     

Zbigniew:

Czy bezpośrednio tu przyjechałeś czy najpierw gdzieś w Wielkiej Brytani byłeś?

     
 

When you came to UK did you come directly here or were you living in other places?

     

Valentina:

Здесь?

     
 

Here?

     

Tatiana:

Latvia, Stornoway.

Simon:

I’ve been speaking to people in different cities in different parts of Scotland and in some places people have either set up organisations to help with schooling for their children or to provide family support like childcare and to help with work issues and things like that. Is there anything like that here amongst migrant workers or do you find you get support from centers like this? Is that too complex? So for example if ...

     

Valentina:

Yes, example! (laughs)

     

Simon:

Do any of you run classes for your children? For those of you who have children, do you have classes in Latvian or Polish for the children?

     

Valentina:

No.

     

Simon:

Or do you just send them to the local schools and ...?

     

Tatiana:

Yes, just English school. No Polish, no Latvian, just English. Just Scottish! Children from Latvia or Polish children must learn English language in Stornoway. In Lewis there are just English schools. No Polish, no Latvian.

Simon:

Some people, they do a Saturday school or something once a week.

     

Tatiana:

Not here. Too small, too small place I think.

Simon:

And if you have ... like having to deal with the work registration or housing issues, do you go to council or other people within the Polish and Latvian communities? Do you help each other or do you get good support from the council?

     

Tatiana:

If we are having any problems?

     

Simon:

Mmm hmm, if you need help with something.

     

Tatiana:

No. Our English is maybe good, I don’t know, but if we have any problems, we are talking to the council, council office or job centre. No, it’s OK because people here are very very patient. Very patient, it’s very good for us! And if we sometimes don’t understand something, they understand us and they try explain everything.

Simon:

How does it compare to other places in Britain you’ve been to?

     

Tatiana:

Sorry?

     

Zbigniew:

To co tutaj jest do innych miast?

     
 

How is it here compare to other cities?

     

Anna:

I came from Poland to Lewis but I can’t ... (laughs)

Anna and Zbigniew:

Możesz powiedzieć jak było w Liverpool a jak jest w Stornoway?

     
 

Can you say how was it in Liverpool and how is it here?

Tatiana:

What is better here, what is better there. Better here because is very good job and ... it’s good salary ... (inaudible) ... emm ... For example, Saturday, in Liverpool ... there was disco, bar! For young people is very good and here good for family because ... they ...

 

Как тихо?

     
 

How to say “quiet”?

     

Anna and Zbigniew:

Quiet.

     

Tatiana:

Quiet. Yeah, very quiet.

     

Simon:

And do you all live in Stornoway itself or do any of you live further out?

     

Anna:

Stornoway.

Simon:

Everyone in Stornoway?

     

Anna:

Yeah. Stornoway’s the best!

Simon:

Does the idea of living elsewhere on the island interest you? Or do you think it would be hard to ...

     

Tatiana:

Sorry?

     

Simon:

Does ... Would you want to live somewhere else on the island? Outside of Stornoway?

     

Tatiana:

No. For us, Stornoway’s the best because we don’t have a car and, you know ... you understand? We are near to every place now. We are near to work and it’s fine. Lewis, the islands, it’s very very pretty. I love beaches, the beach, and lots of nice places, very very nice. And Stornoway for us is a nice place.

Simon:

And how many of you feel that you want to stay in Lewis? Do you think this is a long-term move you’ve made or are you just waiting to see ...?

     

Anna:

Just now? ... (inaudible) ... here is better for us because in Poland it is very hard with the work and here we have work, we’re working and now we want to stay here. But if we can get job? I don’t know, we’ll see ... (inaudible) ... and in Poland no money, no work ...

Simon:

And Tatiana? Because your whole family seems to be here.

     

Tatiana:

I like here and stay here. (laughs)

     

Tatiana:

Ну что, ты останешься в Сторнове?

     
 

Well, are you going to stay in Stornoway?

     

Anna:

Ty chcesz zostać tutaj?

     
 

Do you want to stay here?

     

Tatiana:

Ну да, да.

     
 

Well, yeah, yes.

     

Anna:

To powiedzcie czy chcecie tu zostać, czy ...

     
 

Just say if you want to stay here, if ...

     

Zbigniew:

Jak długo?

     
 

How long?

     

Tatiana:

Пока будет здоровье, я буду здесь работать. Пока здесь, в Сторнове.

     
 

If I still have my health I will work here. For now, I will work in Stornoway.

     

Anna:

Maybe, maybe ...

     

Valentina:

Ну что, останешься здесь?

     
 

Well, are you planning to stay here?

     

Vladimir:

Здесь? Какая разница где?

     
 

Here? What difference does it make where?

     

Anna:

Ты здесь хочешь остаться или вернуться в Латвию, или на сколько тут хочешь остаться?

     
 

Do you want to stay here or go back to Latvia, or how long do you plan to stay here?

     

Vladimir:

Здесь я еще буду, пока дочка тут не кончит учиться. Она школу кончила и идет в колледж.

     
 

I will be here until my daughter finishes her studies. She finished school and now she’s starting college.

Valentina:

Daughter, daughter ...

     

Simon:

His daughter’s at the college? She’s studying here?

     

Valentina:

Uh-hum, uh-hum. А сколько там учиться?

     
 

And how long does it take to study there?

     

Vladimir:

5 лет. Ну еще учиться дальше, сколько хочешь.

     
 

Five years. Well, study further as long as you want.

     

Tatiana:

Пока не выдадешь замуж, да?

     
 

Until you marry her off, right?

     

Vladimir:

(to Simon) За тебя!

     
 

To you!

     

Tatiana:

He says: “Marry my daughter!” (laughs)

     

Christina:

Hello, how are you?

     

Simon:

(speaks to Christina) Hello, pleased to meet you. Thank you very much for ... (inaudible) ... (speaks to group) Emm ... So I was going to ask you about the economics in Latvia now, do you worry about the situation or ...? Cos there was a boom and it went bust recently?

     

Anna:

Czy się przejmujecie jaka jest sytuacja na Łotwie?

     
 

Do you worry about the situation in Latvia?

     

Tatiana:

Латвия-Титаник, Титаник Латвия!

     
 

Latvia’s Titanic!

Simon:

The Titanic?

     

Tatiana:

Титаник!

     
 

The Titanic!

     

Simon:

So I’ve met ... I would say mostly with people from Poland, it’s mostly young people in their twenties, thirties and I’ve met a lot more older people coming from Latvia because there’s less jobs and the older generation ... It’s quite a difference I’ve noticed.

     

Anna:

Yeah, worrying, worrying situation in Poland right now because emmm ... we were there for holiday last week and two weeks from ... From two weeks Poland is flood ...? Flood?

Simon:

Flood? Like water?

     

Anna:

Yes, yes. It’s terrible situation now. It’s rain rain rain, three weeks rain. All our holiday was rain.

     

Christina:

But we have rain too!

     

Anna:

Yes, we have sunny as well!

     

Christina:

So did you get lots of information?

     

Simon:

Yeah.

     

Anna:

Oh it’s terrible ...

     

Christina:

So what do you think of Stornoway? Have you been up before?

     

Simon:

Yeah, this is my second time so ... I was back here in February, so in the winter.

     

Christina:

Oh. It’s still winter!

     

Anna:

What do you think of Stornoway?

Simon:

It’s very pretty. I live in a big city so I was in Glasgow before ... It’s quite a small city.

     

Christina:

What part of Glasgow are you in?

     

Simon:

East End ... I used to live in Partick ... (inaudible) ...

     

Christina:

I was down in Glasgow for about seven years ... (inaudible) ...

Anna:

He knows a lot of Polish words ... (inaudible) ... Any more question?

Simon:

I guess one thing is people’s long-term plans. Do you want to try and find work closer to your skills? Or at the moment are you just taking things as they come?

     

Anna:

I’m working just now in the hospital. Now it’s very good. I’m happy and ... that I found job at the hospital ... (inaudible) ... I don’t want change. Hospital is fine. I am catering assistant now. It’s fine, yes.

Christina:

I think a lot of them are happy just to be working after ... Last year was hard wasn’t it?

Anna:

Yeah. It was hard.

     

Simon:

So what happened?

     

Christina:

Well one of the fish factories closed down and it was skimming a hundred and fifty. Yeah, a hundred and fifty jobs lost.

Tatiana:

We’ve been without work for five months. So I think there are still people looking for jobs. Did Andrej come, no? He didn’t come here no? Yeah, there’s still people looking for jobs. It’s been quite hard. I don’t think many went home, did they? Most of them stayed in the town after that but ...

Simon:

So how easy was it to find second employment?

     

Tatiana:

Sorry?

     

Simon:

After the people lost their jobs, how easy was it for you to find a second job?

     

Zbigniew:

Very easy!

     

Anna:

No, terrible! We apply to every job when we saw, every job. But we’re fine! After five months!

Simon:

And for people that haven’t found work, how are they managing? Are people still wanting to stay and see if they can find something or ...?

     

Christina:

Yeah. I think so. There’s one, Andrej, he stayed. So he hasn’t been working since December the year before last so I don’t know somebody else who was in that position. Mostly they want to stay, well the ones that I’ve met anyway.