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British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes
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Old 02 Feb 2009, 13:43   #1 (permalink)
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Default British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

If you're over here in ol Blighty, you'll have seen in the news about the increasing strikes being made, with more people joining.

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The reason being is due to Total bringing in foriegn labour, instead of hiring locally skilled british workers, which in time of recession is causing some bad feelings.

Gordon Brown has been brought into the row, because of his 2007 promise of "British Jobs for British Workers" - where he was warned at the time it was a foolish thing to say, and now the strikers are hitting back with his own words as he critisises them.

However, the problem does not stem from Gordon Brown (I know, I was shocked) but more to do with an EU law we have to obey, stating that large construction projects are to be advertised throughout the EU.

The strikers are claiming, that the companies are using this law to allow them to hire cheaper labour than if they used local workers, hence the strikes.

Nuclear powerplant workers are set to join the strikes later this week, and there could be more organised striking over the coming weeks, leading to losses of electricity.

Thoughts? Are the workers right to strike, or is it "tough luck"?
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Old 02 Feb 2009, 14:38   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

I support them. Whilst I don't think we should just throw every foreigner into the Channel (just the illegal immigrants, scroungers and zealots who use 'free speech' to encourage Jihad on us from their flat in Islington), I also feel that in our current economic climate, the British come first.

All of Europe, all of the World in fact, is feeling the pinch. With thousands losing their jobs daily, this is not the time to give what few British jobs we have to Johnny Foreigner if our local labour force can do the job. Fine, if we're low on brain surgeons fly them in from Dubai, or California or wherever the hell brain surgeons come from, but if we need 80 bricklayers we can go ask around the Mersey Dockyard.
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Old 02 Feb 2009, 23:20   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe
The strikers are claiming, that the companies are using this law to allow them to hire cheaper labour than if they used local workers, hence the strikes.

Thoughts? Are the workers right to strike, or is it "tough luck"?
If it really is that much cheaper to advertise and organise labour from overseas, then there must be a fairly major disparity between what the Brits are asking for vs the foreign workers.

I'm not saying this is right. I don't like it one bit, and I personally think these companies are scum. But until the situation is sorted, it might be worth the British workers considering a pay-drop (if jobs are that tight, this may be the only choice)
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Old 02 Feb 2009, 23:28   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

Why are british jobs more important than say, french or italian jobs? If there is a significant price difference, surely it's clear that by hiring the cheaper labor, more jobs are created.

In times of low jobs, labor prices fall....it really doesn't matter if foreigners are prohibited or not. What with the transit and housing costs, foreign laborers would have to be quite a bit cheaper indeed to make hiring them an overall cost saving measure.

Protest all you want, but at the end of the day, you're better off grabbing whatever job is available atm, and continuing to search until you find the job you really want.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 00:09   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
Why are british jobs more important than say, french or italian jobs? If there is a significant price difference, surely it's clear that by hiring the cheaper labor, more jobs are created.
Within Britain? Where these people have been active, contributing members of the nation for years, and will continue to be contributing members of the nation even after the recession stabilises?
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 00:19   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

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Originally Posted by BloodiedFangs
Within Britain? Where these people have been active, contributing members of the nation for years, and will continue to be contributing members of the nation even after the recession stabilises?
How can you possibly know that would be true for all the british folks that would be hired if they chose to restrict hiring?

How do you know some of those foreign workers won't want to stay and contribute. Heck, they'll be paying taxes, won't they?

Plus, Im sure if you did discriminate against outside labor, other countries in the EU would do the same, to the detriment of british workers employed in other countries.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 00:34   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
How can you possibly know that would be true for all the british folks that would be hired if they chose to restrict hiring?
True, it'd be no guarantee, but the odds are that most of the people hired within the UK would've been there and contributing for a while, and most would be planning on staying. No, I can't provide any form of study to dictate that I'm right, and somehow i doubt one exists, but this seems fairly common sense to me.

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How do you know some of those foreign workers won't want to stay and contribute. Heck, they'll be paying taxes, won't they?
Once again, true, some of the will want to stay. Once again, its most likely that most won't. And as for the taxes issue, well, what about the ones who've ALREADY paid twenty years of taxes? and next, if the natives are being paid more, then they'll be paying more in tax as well...Not only that, but they're much more likely to continue living there, and continue paying tax. Long term investments.

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Plus, Im sure if you did discriminate against outside labor, other countries in the EU would do the same, to the detriment of british workers employed in other countries.
True. But this is why I did suggest that British workers may, at least temporarily, be forced to accept worse pay until the issue is sorted.Although i would still prefer some form "semi-nationalistic" discrimination (I'm not suggesting "British Pride" kinda discrimination, not least cos I have trouble understanding what modern Brits have to be proud of :P, instead I'm suggesting the people involved in organising this shit should show some loyalty to those who've been behind them the whole time)
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 00:38   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
How can you possibly know that would be true for all the british folks that would be hired if they chose to restrict hiring?

How do you know some of those foreign workers won't want to stay and contribute. Heck, they'll be paying taxes, won't they?

Plus, Im sure if you did discriminate against outside labor, other countries in the EU would do the same, to the detriment of british workers employed in other countries.
All over the world people are losing jobs left, right and centre, Britain has the labour spare at the minute, but Total has chosen to bring in foreigners rather than use that which is on their doorstep. that's what the strikes are about. We aren't saying that the foreigners won't stay. It's fair to say that the people brought in probably will stay and contribute, however that just puts more pressure on the already strained labour market in Britain, more in some areas than others admittedly but still the point remains the same. Yes they'll be paying taxes, but that doesn't help hundreds of British workers who are out of a job.

Other countries do discriminate against outside labour, just not to the extent we do. For one very simple reason, Britain has the highest immigration rate by a fair margin. That's why more British people have been moving to work in Europe/America etc. They can't find employment over here.

A friend of mine lives in Shotton in a house which has been converted into, essentially a bedsit. They were the only English people in the house. 6 bedrooms, 1 was occupied by English people. Most of Shotton is the same. The college I attended until last year has expanded it's range of language courses because there are more and more immigrants moving over.

As for the price of British labour, it isn't unrealisically higher. The problem is, we know how much we need to keep a living in this country. Most immigrants probably don't and thus will automatically accept lower wages as they're probably still going to be higher than they were earning back home. That, combined with the number of immigrants, is the root of the problem.

I don't mind immigrants coming over here and working, I'll opnely admit that in some areas we are understaffed, but to make it viable we need to cut the number of scroungers first. Then see how much labout we need. Not the other way around.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 00:49   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

We're citizens of the world, it's one huge circle. Britain hires workers from southern Europe, who hires skilled workers from the Gulf states, who hires cheap labour from India, who imports entrepeneurs from America etc etc.


The point is we're so interlinked now, to the overall benefit of most first world countries (heck if people need to complain about globalization then the first reason should be african slaves who gets their arms chopped off so we can get minerals for cheap required to play videogames) that to stop the chain at one point, either by discriminating against foreign workers or foreign imports, would set off a huge chain reaction not unlike the beginning of the Great Depression where the trade wars between the US, Canada and Australia crippled all three countries.

HAVING SAID THAT, before you all tar and feather me, I do agree with the strikers. The point in my previous paragraph was that I don't think the government should step in and mess with these things, as foreign governments and businesses will start holding the domestic one directly responsible. I think THE PEOPLE, however, should act and have their voices heard. For example, unions (self organized enterprise/industry based unions, not government ones) could strike, obviously. Furthermore, these companies produce goods for British consumers. So get all the strikers and sympathy strikers to go on PR campaigns. Boycott all goods not made by British workers etc etc. Write angry letters, sign petitions, these things don't work that much against the government but against businesses they may work better because a negative PR fallout on a business is much more immediate and costly.


Anyway, that's my two cents.


Also it's not entirely fair to justify outsourcing by saying "they cost less so it must be that they're willing to work harder for less" as many western countries, and especially Britain, has such a high cost of living that it'd be impossible for working class Brits to compete with jobs being outsourced or illegal immigrants earning whatever cash they can and sending it all home. Besides the working class stimulates the domestic consumer and service sector the most in a country, so any extra money going into them is going to have a more immediate effect on the local economy compared to say, outsourcing or illegal migrants working.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 02:29   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: British Jobs for British Workers. UK Strikes

Im aware that britain has a rather high cost of living, but realistically, we can't expect these workers to commute from italy. Clearly, they've got to be living in the country, and if they're living on minimal wages, they're either not sending money out of country, or they're living in rather poor conditions. The latter is quite common in the US, not certain about over there.

All in all, your unemployment rate is 6.1%. Its a bit higher than normal, but not even a whole percentage point. I can't seem to find good metrics as to how many foreign workers are employed there as compared to native workers, but there are about 1.9m immigrants total, and the numbers for them seem to have increased both faster, and well before unemployment numbers did. So, it seems a bit unfair to blame them for it.
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