British workers protest over immigrant labour

Given the way workers in Scotland and the North of England destroyed their old jobs through constantly going on strike and other union bloodymindedness, I wouldn't hire the b*stards either. It's a common Australian view that "Poms" want everything handed to them on a plate and that they wouldn't know the meaning of a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Obviously, they are not all like that but get enough of them together and those who are like that will poison the whole workforce with their whining

WILDCAT strikes against foreign workers have spread through oil refineries and other energy facilities in Britain, fuelled by fears of rising job cuts due to the global slowdown.

The protest started at Britain's third-largest oil refinery, Lindsey in Lincolnshire, eastern England, where workers first walked out on Wednesday over the use of Italian and Portuguese contractors on a STG200-million ($440 million) building project. But it had spread by Friday to a handful of other refineries and plants across Britain, where unemployment is at its highest rate for 10 years as the credit crunch hits hard.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has in the past pledged "British jobs for British workers'', while recently warning against trade protectionism as a response to the worldwide downturn.

Local lawmaker Shona McIsaac, of Brown's ruling Labour Party, said the decision to hire foreign contractors was "like a red rag to a bull for people in our community who are out of work''.

Up to 1000 workers demonstrated peacefully for several hours at Lindsey, run by French oil company Total, holding up placards saying "Right To Work UK Workers'' amid a heavy presence of police with dogs and on horses. Bernard McAuley of the Unite trade union told protestors: "There is sufficient unemployed skilled labour wanting the right to work on that site and they are demanding the right to work on that site. We want fairness.'' That protest has ended but those involved vowed to be back on Monday.

The BBC reported that 1000 workers at the Milford Haven gas terminal in west Wales had gone on strike in sympathy on Friday. Hundreds also protested at six other sites, including Scotland's only oil refinery, at Grangemouth; a refinery in Wilton, northeast England; and Aberthaw power station in south Wales.

Contractors at the Sellafield nuclear plant in northwest England are also considering a walk-out, according to a spokesman for British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL).

The dispute stems from Total awarding the contract to build a new desulphurisation unit at the Lindsey site to Italian company IREM. Around 100 Italian and Portuguese workers, who live on barges in a nearby docks, work there currently and are set to be joined by 300 more next month.

Mr Brown's official spokesman said the contract at Lindsey had been agreed some time ago when there was a shortage of skilled construction labour in Britain.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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