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Reader feedback: Vandals at bay

Re: Many young Slovaks unemployed, Volume 11, Number 31, August 15 - 21, 2005

Unfortunately there is a strong need for underpaid, menial labour here in the Irish service industry. A lot of the workers don't even receive the minimum wage thanks to a nice loophole of "training-in" that can take as long as the employer wants.

The general reaction I have got from people is that "it's their own fault and they should look for a better paying job". The few Poles I've talked to have qualifications similar to mine but are in low-paying jobs. It is not always the case, thankfully.

There is a recent event that sticks in mind, though. A Slovak (from Prešov) working in a bar in my city (I was delighted to have a chance to practice my Slovak once more) was initially very happy working here in Ireland. Within a few months she seemed to have lost all her initial cheerfulness. Although the money was better here, she could only afford a place to live far from the centre and under bad conditions. Then there was the price of most things here. Eventually she concluded her life as a waitress in her hometown was better and never returned after a trip home.

I suppose she improved her English, though. As for the "total destruction" of culture here [re: Reader Feedback, Vol. 11, N.32]; isn't this statement a bit extreme? Granted we could promote and preserve more, but the Vandals aren't quite at the gates yet.

L Gaynor,
Ireland

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