We spoke with Andrzej who is working as a tire mechanic, for his fourth season already. The change from summer to winter tires and vice versa creates a peak rush in the tire centers twice a year. Together, Andrzej and his colleagues ensure that we can drive safely on the right tires. We love listening to his (life) story!
Hi Andrzej, what can you tell us about your work in Belgium?
I work as a tire mechanic, for the fourth season now. In the spring of 2019, I came to Belgium for the first time. I am responsible for balancing and changing tires. These are quick tire changes and small nail repairs. My job is simple but it is physically demanding.
You had your own business in Poland, why did you come to Belgium?
Since I became an adult, I have dreamed of going abroad. But I decided to give Poland a chance first. At that time there was a lot of work in the tire sector and I had my own business. In recent years, Polish people buy tires for several seasons and fewer tires are changed. The salary I earn here convinced me to leave for Belgium. In Poland, my business was no longer profitable.
How did you get to know us?
I discovered Link2Europe on the Internet. I liked the terms and the offer. A weekly wage with vacation pay, that's a big plus for me. Moreover, it is seasonal work. I also compared it with offers in other Western European countries and the financial conditions here are better.
And what did you think when you arrived in Belgium?
I first spent a night in an apartment rented especially for us. The next day there was an information session at the office. I still have my notes from that day in 2019, I learned many interesting things then.
How did you get to know your company, Vulco?
After the info session, I left with a Link2Europe consultant to the Zaventem office where I would start work the next day. I worked there all spring and it was super fun. After six weeks I went back to Poland but I already knew I would return the next season.
You contacted me back for fall 2019. I asked if it was possible to work for a longer period. And then I got an offer for eight weeks. Again in a cool team with cool bosses. In March 2020 I would come back for three months. Unfortunately, corona disrupted these plans. The tire plants were closed for weeks. I wasn't back here until May. And now with the winter season, I am here again. I am really part of a great team, we are all on the same wavelength.
Did Link2Europe support you in other areas as well?
As a seasonal worker, I do not need to register, a Polish bank account is sufficient and I also have Polish health insurance. But at Link2Europe I get an answer to every question I ask, from housing issues to COVID-19 protocols and to translations of certain terms. I am very satisfied with the direct communication, the consultants help me in a pleasant and people-friendly way. Also very valuable to mention: Link2Europe provides quality accommodation.
What language is communication in at Vulco?
I do not speak Dutch, but I would like to learn the language. I communicate as much as possible in English. Knowledge of that language is very important in Belgium. And at work we teach Polish expressions to colleagues.
And finally, what do you like about Belgium?
I love the history of the country and the way Belgians look at life. The ratio of working hours to leisure time is fantastic here. There is room for ambiance and fun. I am also particularly fascinated by the sports facilities, especially the tennis courts. Whenever I can, I play tennis. And during my leave I go skiing, snowboarding or sailing on a yacht in the Baltic Sea. It's beautiful there. I've always had an active lifestyle. Now that it is financially possible, I enjoy making my dreams come true.
I feel good here. And I can count on Link2Europe. It's a stable company and they take good care of me.