We all remember the phrase ‘Local Jobs For Local People’ that was used by local boatbuilder, Cheetah Marine, when they fought to gain permission for their seafront development.
They (and their supporters) mentioned many times how the company provided jobs for ‘local’ people including in the interview that Simon did when he went to see them back in March 2007.
15.05 mins into part two of the recording (we’ve separated it out below for ease), you’ll hear Sean Strevens say
“If we were in it for the money, we’d be building boats in Poland at half the labour rate, it’s a simple as that. We’re in it because we’ve grown up in Ventnor, we employ local people, a lot of local people … ummm … rely on us and we want to keep that going.”
Have a listen
Cheetah Marine on video admitting to four Polish workers
So you can imagine our surprise when we came across a video that appears to be have been made in 2007 which includes Polish workers employed at Cheetah Marine.
The film is a very touching story about Hubert Litwa, a Polish worker who came to the UK to take advantage of the better job opportunities and make enough money to build a home for his family and pay for cancer treatment for his wife.
Now, don’t get us wrong, we have no problem whatsoever with Eastern European workers coming to the UK, but it does stick in the throat a little when someone has used the ‘local jobs for local people’ argument, yet does the polar opposite.
Yes, of course, we realise that the remainder of the employees are local people and we give credit to Cheetah Marine for that, but really, was it reasonable for them to use this argument?
Watch for yourselves, between 1.56 min and 2.25 min into the film, Sean says
“The few Polish guys we’ve got, including Hubert, put a lot of effort and are far more dedicated than some of the younger guys we’ve taken on over the last few years.
“Having now got involved and we’ve got four polish guys here and seeing their keeness for manufacturing, it’s vital if we want to stay in business.”