Monday, Dec 11, 2006

British Glaziers Lose Their Jobs

Daily Express: Sacked because we are British

A GROUP of skilled craftsmen working on an NHS project have been sacked and their jobs given to migrant Polish workers.
The 16 glaziers were axed from a hospital construction site even though one had just won an award for his dedication and professionalism.

Posted by Charlie The Tramp @ 02:53 PM (545 views)
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23 Comments

1. talking rot said...

I don't have a problem with Poles taking jobs from British Workers - it is, afterall, a clear boost to the UK's economy! The rich get richer and buy more Buy-To-Lets while the poor get the pain. New Liebour is demonstrating it's vast competence in Government.

I wonder if those Polish workers have UK homes to pay for or are they sleeping Many-To-A-Room - which is what my local paper reports.

I wonder how the Guardian has reported the story?

Monday, December 11, 2006 03:33PM Report Comment
 

2. inbreda said...

Don't you hate it when someone is prepared to do the same job as you for a lot less money?

Bring back the unions I say!

Sure it will all balance out in the end - either through rising unemployment, lower wages, cheaper housing or some other shift in society or economics.

Monday, December 11, 2006 03:58PM Report Comment
 

3. denzil said...

The thing is stories like this surpress the likelyhood of British workers asking for large pay raises through fear of being replaced. Most people are wise to the fact that their personal inflation is at least double the fantasy figures quoted as the official CPI and will want pay raises accordingly. This type of story will make them think twice.
This report fails to state why the men were sacked and is little more than conjecture on the part of a disgruntled employee. They may have grounds for unfair dismissal.
Stories like this highlight the fact that Labour party policy has no longevity.

Couple of anecdotes about Poles.
My 92 year old Gran is in a small nursing home that happens to employ three Polish girls in the their twenties along with about 6 native British workers. A couple of the British girls are ok but the Polish girls are noted for the dignity and respect that they show to all the residents which is far and above that offered by the British staff. I see this with my own eyes and actually makes me embarrased because 4 of the British girls couldn't to be frank give a shit.

My father who is a builder employs a Polish carpenter. Initially he took a local lad on as an apprentice but after a year of continually arriving late, if at all, he was fired. The kids excuse for his continual late arrival was staggering, "We don't get up early in our house". My Father now employs a Polish guy in his 40's who is an absolute gem. Loyal, respectful and a damn fine craftsman. He also gets paid the same wage as a British carpenter.

I'm not tarring all with the same brush, just speaking from experience. Using Poles to cut costs is wrong.

Monday, December 11, 2006 04:03PM Report Comment
 

4. Bulltraderpt said...

'or some other shift in society or economics.'

Yeah, definately, but I don't think it will be pretty. Especially as I can see more of this in the coming years...


Nu Labour, New Danger more like. If i'd have voted this shower in, I betaking some of the blame now wouldn't I for making our own labour redundant.

Way to go Tony, you poor excuse for a traditional Labour politician.

Monday, December 11, 2006 04:04PM Report Comment
 

5. harold said...

Poles - I'm sorry to have to say it but they have a superior attitude to work and craftmanship in my experience. I.e. it's not just a question of undercutting their UK counterparts.

Monday, December 11, 2006 04:36PM Report Comment
 

6. Chillilizard said...

We have a couple of polish people working in our IT department. I can honestly say they do a terrific job.

There is something else that bothers me about this story. These british people that have been 'let go' have a massive support network, friends and family here. And a welfare state to look after them. Because of this, they have the opportunities to move with the times. On one hand we praise the Free Market for its competitive edge and on the other we get upset by stories like this one. Perhaps we are being too kind. British people still have it really good and can move on from this comparatively easily.

Some other points; I heard that the new Wembley Stadium is costing 5 times more than a comparable stadium in Japan. I wonder who is making all the money. Also; perhaps EU policy should change to allow these polish people to settle in France and Germany. There is little reason for Britain to absorb all these people.

Monday, December 11, 2006 04:52PM Report Comment
 

7. monty said...

Bring on the competition! My job has been under constant threat for the last six years from both outsourcing and cheaper, imported labour and I'm more than happy to compete under those conditions. Bring on the unions at your own peril and see what happens to inflation then. RPIs of 3.7% will be recalled as the good ol' days.

Monday, December 11, 2006 04:53PM Report Comment
 

8. Ticktock said...


Nobody argues that the Poles (or whoever) arn't good workers, or that the more expensive Brits are particularly good workers. I'm sure that a poor Eastern European will work harder than a Brit who has been relatively protected most of their lives by the Social Contract that previously formed the basis of our society (and incidently, which nobody knowingly voted to tear up either)

I'm sure that slaves worked harder under the threat of the lash too, but this is hardly the point.

Britain has a responsibility to create a society that includes ALL of the British people. If we are such poor workers, where is the investment in training? Where will the (soon to be) millions of unemployed go do you think? What will they do? How could getting a cheap conservatory put up by a Pole possibly compensate the Middle Class for this Social disaster? Who do they think the poor will blame? who will they steal from?

What the British economy needs most of all, is too serve the needs of ALL the British people, and not simply the interests of UK PLC.
.
Like it or not, the British working class have as much right to a future in this country as anybody else.

Monday, December 11, 2006 04:53PM Report Comment
 

9. paul said...

monty, the government blithely ignores RPI anyway.

I'm quite sure that if the unions did become more powerful (all of a sudden!), their influence would quickly be tippexed out of the official CPI inflation stats too!

Monday, December 11, 2006 05:17PM Report Comment
 

10. 9swampy said...

Supply and demand; if CUSTOMER'S are only prepared to pay for the cheapest option then the manufacturers have to be the cheapest supplier. If that means employing value for money labour rather than labour that simply prices itself out of the market then I see no problem. Sure I feel for the guy, but that's life. Swallow your pride and go with what's available; with globalisation there's much much "worse" coming for your children and grandchildren. Consider the situation in reverse, be thankful you've had 40 years of it easy by having the good fortune to be born here; not 40 years living in Poland without a chance... until now.

Monday, December 11, 2006 05:36PM Report Comment
 

11. Cstanhope707 said...

Getting a little bit "sick and tired" of all these Tradesmen and their accompleses in the media bleeting on about Polish Workers taking there jobs. A few years ago exactly the same thing was done to the IT workers in the UK but it was not Eastern European's but guys from India being brought in by this Government on so called "Fast Track" Visa program.

PS. Plumbers, electricians have done very well for a long time they need a bit of competition......

Then the media were going on and on about a massive IT skills shortage which was a myth as thousands of UK IT workers were training guys from India to replace them, redundancies shortly followed. (Ineresting when it is truck drivers, plumbers and electricians getting hosed by this Government everyone in the media is suddenly all upset about people loosing there jobs to foreign competition but not a word when it was IT workers, could it be they are not in any Unions)

This was when Patricia Hewitt ran the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) , now she is running the NHS gives you a clue about her great track record...


What is interesting though is having gone through this upheaval Indian IT companies are now creating jobs in the UK, in fact I myself work for one now. More jobs are being advertised locally again in this sector. So guys we went through it and survived so everyone else needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Also having lived in Chicago some of the wealthiest people come from the Polish comunities, I love them I think they are great people, open minded welcoming and hard working........

But this is good you see Unemployment in Poland has gone down the cost of properties in Poland is going up which means staying in Poland is becoming more attractive then coming over to the UK and getting ripped off, thus as these guys leave more and more vacant BTL's......

Monday, December 11, 2006 06:05PM Report Comment
 

12. Phil said...

Harold as an australian carpenter I see and work with many poles in and around Brighton, and I can tell you that the poles are just as lazy as there English counter parts. The only diffrence is that I usally have the job of correcting their mistakes unlike the English carpenters. Although I must say that they usally earn 50 to 60% of our wage.

Monday, December 11, 2006 06:30PM Report Comment
 

13. Bloody Annoyed said...

I am curious about the difference in psychology between the british and polish worker. Are most polish workers planning to go home eventually?, and if so how much spending power will the pounds that they have managed to save afford them in their native land. Could it be that the apparent vast difference in motivation between the british worker and the polish worker is simply down to the difference in what they can get in exchange for their labour in the land they call home.

Monday, December 11, 2006 07:58PM Report Comment
 

14. Enuii said...

Some years ago when the first of the Eastern Block countries entered the E.U. (East Germany) I came to the stark conclusion that once in the Euro wages across Europe would gradually drop to a common median level. We are starting to see this as manufacturing moves eastwards, wages start to slip in the former western economies and rise in the Eastern ones. Unfortunately (correct me if I'm wrong) the U.K. has the highest property prices in Europe so we will be on the sharp end of the stick for the economic pain that will eventually come.

Monday, December 11, 2006 09:10PM Report Comment
 

15. Mjs9691 said...

Working in IT we used to work on a contract whereby working from 18:00 Friday around until 08:00 Monday morning attracted double time + a call out telephone standby rate (sadly no more). Under these old terms and conditions Friday evening and Saturday felt more satisfying than the now single time (Saturday now being regarded as normal core working hours on our new contract). For Poles it must be like working on triple, or quadruple time each and every day when compared to wages back home (even on what we regard as a low pay in the UK); no wonder they are polite, cheerful, hardworking; money can be an incredible motivator!

Monday, December 11, 2006 09:14PM Report Comment
 

16. Night said...

Hmm, Polish workers working for less & yet MP's want a 66% pay rise. We need to train more Polish MP's! Apparently they are good workers, let's see if they can lie and patronise as well as our current lot.

Monday, December 11, 2006 09:46PM Report Comment
 

17. Shanghaitim said...

I'm with 9swampy - if you complain about losing jobs to cheap manufacturing companies and then buy the cheapest hammer / toaster / etc. in the shops, you're choosing to fire the people in the UK, indirectly. Either buy the stuff they make or don't blame the people who make the stuff you buy.

And plumbers were starting to break into six figure salaries before the immigration started. Fine, they have nasty jobs often (stagnant water, "other" water), so some compensation is reasonable but not that much. And now the balance has arrived in the market - fare enough. Maybe the documentaries on plumber's making a fortune that we had on the telly made it all the way to Eastern Europe, and ditto our "wonderful" housing market so they'll invest in BTL next... well, maybe!

But the idea of Polish MPs sounds the best... except the Daily Mail would be outraged by that too. Headlines like "Is nothing sacred?!" and "And now they rule us" would be next - and no, jobs aren't sacred. Whoever on the main forum has the quote by Andy Grove has it spot on:

"If the world operates as one big market, every employee will compete with every person anywhere in the world who is capable of doing the same job. There are lots of them and many of them are hungry."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 04:48AM Report Comment
 

18. Shanghaitim said...

"Tory MP David Davies said the sackings demonstrate the folly of Britains immigration policy. He added: It makes me mad to see anyone lose their jobs two weeks before Christmas. How are they going to feed their families?"

With food - same as anyone else. Anyone else suspect he'll be paid a month's wages from his notice anyway? That MP gets how much money per year to make intelligent comments like this? Brilliant!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 06:02AM Report Comment
 

19. Gudz said...

In my view tradesmen have had it too easy for far too long!

Getting paid similar amounts to university graduates, and in many cases outstripping them.

Time everyone realised that these trades don't take longer than a few months to learn, and should be paid accordingly.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 09:13AM Report Comment
 

20. Gudz said...

Bring it on!

In my view tradesmen in this country have had it too easy for far too long, earning wages on a par with university graduates and in many cases far outstripping them. It's about time everyone realised these skills can be normally be learnt in a few months, and should be paid accordingly.

If they can't compete with the Poles, then they had best find another way of earning a living.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 09:19AM Report Comment
 

21. denzil said...

Phil said:
>>Harold as an australian carpenter I see and work with many poles in and around Brighton, and I can tell you that the poles are just as lazy as there English counter parts. The only diffrence is that I usally have the job of correcting their mistakes unlike the English carpenters. Although I must say that they usally earn 50 to 60% of our wage.

I read your comment about the Poles being paid 50-60% of that paid to English and yourself and thought surely that is discrimination but maybe the building trade is a caveat to that point because typically contracts go to tender and a company employing all Poles would probably be the cheaper quote. The thing is if company A employs a British carpenter and pays him X then that company can surely not pay a Pole 50-60% of his British or Aussie counterpart, based on him having the same skill-set. That is quite simply discrimination. The builders unions (is there such a thing)? need to jump on this or else builders wages will drop and drop because companies with their shareholders to think of will just employ exploit immigrants.
We are living in changing times and in the same way that US foreign policy is probably the best terrorist recruitment sargeant, Labout immigration policy is the equivelent for the BNP.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 11:21AM Report Comment
 

22. Mr Plumbase said...

Cheap Polish plumbers? A middle class myth! The initial cost might be low but when things go wrong who puts things right, the Poles who did the work? No dont be silly, people like me! there are several of these enterprising chaps operating in my area and the standard of work is sometimes laughable it seems to me water regulations dont exist in Eastern Europe,baths plumbed in with nothing more than hose pipe and jubilee clips,leaks sealed with epoxy car filler (water tastes really nice after this!) electric showers wired up with cable you might find attached to your bedside lamp. 100,000 worth of vehicles on the front drive, get a qualified tradesman? No! get one of those Polish chaps,the Mail, Telegraph, Times is always full of positive storys about these guys, all I can say is keep em coming, I can and do charge a premium to correct these f**k ups in fact buissiness is booming! When someone rich or famous dies or gets badly injured then perhaps people will see another side to this.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 02:43PM Report Comment
 

23. waitingfor hpc said...

I said this would happen last year, and was shot down for being all sorts of things I am not. Open door immigration is a big mistake - but we have it already.

I employ many Poles in my factory on the same or better wages than UK workers. But I will not employ UK workers now - why should I? The Poles work a lot harder and better - so as long as theyt come in I will employ them. Over British workers who moan - want huge pay rises and are not as well educated. Nu Labour has shafted the British worker but this happened a couple of years ago.

I will take the best labour possible for my company. Also hear the same story anywhere I go. And they do expect far less money in the main as they live much cheaper while they are here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 05:29PM Report Comment
 

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