Questions over grants: Neil Hamilton

Mid and West Wales UKIP AM Neil Hamilton has confronted the First Minister Carwyn Jones over claims that Hungarian workers are being bused in to work at the Amazon distribution centre in Swansea to work during the lead up to Christmas. The AM claims to have been contacted by a constituent who was called to ask if they had accommodation, which could be used for ‘hot bedded’ in three shifts for the workers.

Mr Hamilton began by asking the First Minister: “Will the first minister make a statement on unemployment rates in Mid and West Wales.

The First Minister responded: “In 2017 the unemployment rate in Mid and West Wales was 4% below the Welsh and UK averages.”

Mr Hamilton then approached the issue of grants given to Amazon for their distribution centre at Ffordd Amazon in Swansea. He said: “He will know that the Swansea travel to work area includes large parts of Carmarthenshire and therefore the announcement by Amazon that they will be creating 2,000 jobs for the Christmas trade will be very welcome but less welcome is the fact that they are doing a lot of their recruitment through a company called the Central European Contracts and Recruitment Services.

Investigating: Carwyn Jones

“That is basically to bus in people from Hungary rather than from Carmarthenshire. One of my constituents has contacted me to say that she had been contacted by this company wanting to know if she had residential rooms for rent, which could be hotbeded in three shifts for these workers. Doesn’t this tend to undermine the purpose of the grants, which Amazon received from the Welsh Government for their warehousing facilities in Swansea?”

The First Minister replied:  “Well those grants would have been given some years ago certainly before my time as First Minister. I am interested in looking further at what he is raising if he could write to me with further details I will of course investigate for him.”

Amazon are advertising for operatives on their website

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