Wednesday 4 February 2009

Self defeating Lindsey deal

I’ll be intrigued to see exactly what kind of deal they reach at the Lindsey refinery.

Anything that sees jobs given preferably to British workers is surely going against EU rules.

Regardless of whether it’s the right thing to do, you can’t ignore that it’s against the law.

If they do come to a settlement what’s to stop people in other countries doing it?

As Andy points out in his comment here,

“If a UK firm wins a contract in Europe you can bet they wouldn't be expected to make all their UK workers redundant and then recruit a load of Europeans in the country the contract is based.”

Notts MP John Mann has also tabled a motion "deploring" the use of foreign workers at Lindsey, and congratulating unions for "exposing this exploitation and the absence of equal opportunities to apply for all jobs".

Bizarre considering he’s advocating preferential treatment of British workers within the EU.


Andy said...

Also means he's rubbing shoulders with the dear old BNP who have made their sinister but predictable appearance on the scene. Check out their website if you can stomach it, I won't sully your blog with a link there.

Oldrightie said...

This is just a symptom of the underlying failure of The EU to operate as a trading block but rather as a federalist dictatorship. Trust me, I am not alone in believing this recession/depression will drive the EU political mafia apart!

subrosa said...

The EU will be rubbing its hands with glee. Think of all that lovely money coming from the UK as a fine for breaking the rules.

Lobbydog said...

You might be right Oldrightie. Brown hasn't got the heart or the political capital to hold it together and France is the most self-interested country in the EU , so it's down to Merkel. We might really see what she's made of.

Andy said...

I'm just trying to think through the legalities of this. Firstly, its a private company so there isn't really an issue of the EU taking action against the government.

Secondly, I think a lot depends on what the circumstances are. Are the companies simply bringing their existing employees over to work in the UK, which would be perfectly proper as I've said before, or are they recruiting new workers for this particular contract?

I strongly suspect its the former as headlines like 'Spanish/Italian firm refuses to sack its workers to give jobs to Brits' doesn't really inspire as much sympathy as 'Forrinners refuse jobs for our lads' (whilst omitting to mention that there aren't actually any vacancies anyway). At the end of the day this is an anti EU story but rather than proof that it doesn't work it shows that, in employment at least its working exactly as it was intended to. Its just that we don't like it when the circumstances don't go our way.

In the very small chance that its about real vacancies being available and UKers being prevented from applying for these then there's an open and shut discrimination case in an employment tribunal and the unions should be getting off their backsides and pursuing it. However, I very much doubt that this is the scenario.

Another question is why the power companies have used this particular construction company but I can only assume this is a commercial decision. If there's been any issues of governments using subsidies to skew the market against UK companies then again there's an EU case that shouldn't involve a lot of work to win. However, the lack of any mention of such a thing leads me to suspect that its not the case.

Unfortunately for UK workers here it seems to me to be a matter of their companies losing out on a contract and, as ever, its the guys on the ground who have to pay for that. Unfortunately certain vested interests are jumping in for their own agendas and promising the workers things that can't be delivered. When it goes TU they can all shout 'its McBottler McBroon's fault' which is all anyone wants to hear these days.

McGonagall said...

New jobs - new recruits - lower wages than Brits. This is predatory capitalism masquerading as normal EU business practice. If this is normal then the workers in the UK are in big trouble. Normal to bring in a workforce of FOUR HUNDRED???

Perhaps a site manager, and office manager, and a couple of other suits would be believable - but FOUR HUNDRED??? Yer havin a larf.

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