We spoke to Andrzej who is working as a vulcanizer, for his fourth season. The change from summer to winter tires and vice versa ensures peak activity in the tire centers twice a year. Andrzej and his colleagues work together to ensure that we can drive safely on the right tires. We like to listen to his (life) story!
Hi Andrzej, what can you tell us about your work in Belgium?
I work as a vulcanizer for the fourth season now. I came to Belgium for the first time in the spring of 2019. I am responsible for balancing and changing the tires. These are quick tire changes and small nail repairs. My work is simple but it is physically demanding.
You had your own company in Poland, why did you come to Belgium?
Ever since I grew up, I have been dreaming of abroad. But I decided to give Poland a chance first. There was a lot of work in the tire industry at the time and I had my own company. In recent years, Polish people have been buying multi-season tires and fewer tires are being changed. The wages I earn here convinced me to leave for Belgium. In Poland my company was no longer profitable.
How did you get to know us?
I discovered Link2Europe on the internet. I liked the conditions and the offer. A weekly wage with holiday 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 are better here.
And what did you think when you arrived in Belgium?
I first spent a night in an apartment that was 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 a lot of interesting things then.
How did you get to know your company, Vulco?
After the information session, I left with a Link2Europe consultant to the location in Zaventem where I would start the next day. I worked there all spring and it was great fun. After six weeks I went back to Poland but I already knew I would return next season.
Tell us more!
You contacted me again for the autumn of 2019 season. I asked if it was possible to work for a longer period. And then I got an offer for eight weeks at Vulco. Again in a great team with great bosses. In March 2020 I would come back for three months. Unfortunately, corona disrupted these plans. The tire centers were closed for weeks. I was only back here in May. And now with the winter season I am back again. I really am part of a great team, we are all on the same wavelength.
Has Link2Europe also supported you in other areas?
As a seasonal worker I don’t have to register at the local city hall, 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 worth mentioning: Link2Europe provides high-quality accommodation.
How do you communicate at Vulco?
I don’t speak Dutch, but I would like to learn the language. I communicate in English as much as possible. 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 country’s history and the way Belgians look at life. The ratio between working hours and free time is fantastic here. There is room for ambiance and fun. I am also particularly fascinated by the sports facilities, especially the tennis courts. If 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 have 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 is a stable company and they take good care of me.
Thank you very much for this conversation Andrzej and we wish you the best of luck!
Make sure you get all the facts about retirement in Belgium well in advance. Here at Link2Europe, we are happy to help.