‘We are strongmen’: Polish workers help bring UK its Christmas turkeys

Despite Brexit and Covid, foreign workers take up government’s emergency visa scheme

“We are Polish strongmen,” laughs Piotr Zabiec, taking a break from another busy day processing turkeys on a farm near Chelmsford in Essex. “Without us, maybe you won’t have a turkey on your table at Christmas time.”

The 41-year-old has left his fiancee and two children at home in the central city of Włocławek, trading his usual work as a health and safety inspector and taxi driver for a month removing giblets from thousands of birds for the turkey producer KellyBronze. It is the first time he has come to the UK to work, encouraged to make the trip by friends who have spent the past few Decembers in Britain.

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