Strikes continued today, in spite of the largest snowfalls in 20 years. Many people do not realize how absurd the situation actually is: British workers are protesting for the right simply to be considered for a job in their own country by foreign firms (who are looking to EU court rulings which sanction the importation of super cheap labor from the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe–very convenient to keep operations running in a downturn of the sort we’re witnessing)! Here’s a snippet:
“Unions across the EU have been campaigning for months for a change, after two court judgments, in Sweden and Finland, which interpreted EU law to mean that firms there were permitted to employ workers from the former communist states on the Baltic coast at rates that undercut Scandinavian wages and conditions.”
In the face of such absurdity, the claim that strikers are motivated by xenophobia is as insulting as, well, the policies themselves. Here’s the rest of the Independent piece:
Wildcat strikes over foreign workers expected to spread
Splits appear within government ranks after Prime Minister and Lord Mandelson condemn illegal industrial action at energy plants.
By Andy McSmith and Andrew Grice
Monday, 2 February 2009
Energy plants around the UK are bracing themselves for another outbreak of wildcat strikes this morning in protest at the employment of foreign workers on construction sites.
Yesterday, ministers appeared divided between those wanting to condemn the illegal strikes, and those who believe the Government should be listening to the workers’ complaints, even if they do not condone their actions. The pressure on ministers to act will increase as preparations go ahead for a lobby of Parliament to protest at using Spanish workers to construct a power station at Staythorpe, in Nottinghamshire.
Trade union leaders are walking a delicate line because they cannot organise or condone wildcat strikes, illegal under laws passed in the 1980s, but they want to be seen defending their members who feel threatened by the spectacle of jobs being awarded to foreign contract workers.
Read the rest of the article