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mad_jock
2nd Feb 2009, 10:14
Been watching the strikes kick off about EU workers "stealing UK jobs"

Must admit it as being tone of those types who have worked abroad myself and done very nicely out of it thank you very much. I do feel for the guys, but as a nation we have been doing it for years to other countries.

I could see some knock on effects for ex pat contractors around europe. Germany when I left was just getting stroppy with ex-pats and thier tax dodging antics.

With the current exchange rate though I would be surprised if a UK worker is more expensive than a EU one.

An as for Italian welders, h'mm I thought the oil industry had learned about them in the 80-90's any wage saving will be used up in grinding disks taking out the welds which have failed NDT. I wonder if they have done thier coding in the UK or in Italy.

Avitor
2nd Feb 2009, 10:30
As long as there is a smooth transition from ousted British politician, to the Brussels trough, matters will continue in the same vein.

What other gainful employment could so many of the, feet under the table, inhabitants of Westminster manage?

The EU has its good points and its not so good. Pity they cannot find the right auditors!

mad_jock
2nd Feb 2009, 10:35
Thinking about it the UK must have lost a good chunk of its experience base in this heavy welding field.

All the nuclear old boys will have retired. The Ship writes must be few and far between. The old Aberdeen stick any bit of metal to any bit of metal blacksmiths will have retired as well.

h'mm we will see how it pans out

1DC
2nd Feb 2009, 11:28
I don't know if things have changed but 10 years ago, skilled UK labour for Refinery maintenance shutdowns was so scarce that UK refineries had to coordinate with each other to avoid having shutdowns at the same time. The core skilled shutdown workforce travelled from refinery to refinery to supplement the shortfall from skilled workers in each refinery area. My memories of that time was that these men were an aging workforce and unless more younger people were qualified it would become a bigger problem..

Andy_S
2nd Feb 2009, 11:54
1DC,

I think you might have hit the nail on the head.

It's easy to get hysterical about Johnny Foreigner pinching our jobs, but the reality is that it's skilled construction work we're talking about. Total and / or their Italian contractor wouldn't have been able to simply go out to Scunthorpe, Grimsby or wherever and pick up a couple of hundred labourers.

I understand that the Italian contractor retain their construction workers as permanent employees. Maybe there's a lesson for us.

Oh - and this business about the government challenging EU laws? What an apalling piece of political spin. They know it's not going to happen, they don't really want it to happen, and even if it did it would take months if not years to do it. But they've got to make it look like they're taking action........

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 12:12
1DC did nail it on the head, and not just with refineries either. There has been a real lack of trained tradesmen coming through for over 20 years now because of a lack of apprentices. If you don't have enough skilled labour in your own country, you have to get it somewhere else, hence the reason so many Polish plumbers, etc, have been doing a lot of business in the UK.

This has been said for decades, and it was quite good for me when I was in the UK because I never claimed dole once in the 19 years after I got my spark's ticket.

unstable load
2nd Feb 2009, 12:49
Is it true that any EU citizen/passport holder can work in any EU country? Obviously provided there's a job available.

I was offered an unlicensed part time post as an Aircraft Mechanic and HM Border Fuzz would not give me a visa because it is a skilled post and I do not hold a JAR license. All attempts at pointing out that it was an UNlicensed post were for nought.

Probably to do with me being a Japie!:rolleyes::*

max_cont
2nd Feb 2009, 13:27
If it was only about skilled labour I might concur with what’s been posted here. IMO it’s more about cheap labour.

For example, a local farmer I know uses Polish tractor drivers because he can pay them peanuts. He has just made redundant, the last UK national he had. The poor guy has also lost his cottage as well. However, the Polish drivers are happy to doss down in an old bus in the farmyard…not something you’d find many UK workers happy with. This kind of thing has been happening for some time now.

Rainboe
2nd Feb 2009, 13:29
We're in the EC. Free movement of labour, period. Any UK national can go work anywhere in the EC. Any EC national can come work in the UK. Period. Period. That is what the EC is about! What part of that do they not understand?

max_cont
2nd Feb 2009, 13:38
Perhaps they do understand that. The government knows they understand it and that’s why they won't hold the referendum on Europe as promised…they know what the man in the street is going to say.

Food on the table for the family is not a high ideal but a basic necessity. Why should they be forced to leave the family to find work over seas simply because those in power keep screwing us over the EC.?

Windy Militant
2nd Feb 2009, 14:05
We're in the EC. Free movement of labour, period. Any UK national can go work anywhere in the EC. Any EC national can come work in the UK. Period. Period. That is what the EC is about! What part of that do they not understand?


According to the Unite press release the dispute is not about EU workers being employed on it, but over UK employees not being allowed to apply for jobs on this contract. Which if true contravenes EU law.

Andy_S
2nd Feb 2009, 14:27
According to the Unite press release the dispute is not about EU workers being employed on it, but over UK employees not being allowed to apply for jobs on this contract. Which if true contravenes EU law.

I'm not sure it's that simple.

While I don't pretend to know the wording of the relevant EU regulations, I believe employers are not allowed to discriminate against workers on grounds of nationality.

Since the contractor is simply utilising their own existing workforce rather than employing specifically for the job at LOR, I can't see that any discrimination has taken place. Logically, any UK national who wants to work on the contract would need to apply for permanent employment with this Italian outfit, and there's nothing to stop them doing this.

sisemen
2nd Feb 2009, 14:31
Things have changed drastically in the last 10 to 20 years....

The Ship writes must

At least then the average working man could spell shipwrights (note - all one word) :ugh:

ORAC
2nd Feb 2009, 14:32
They can apply for a job with the contractor; but if the contractor is Italian and has full time employees who can do the job why would he need to take on more staff? And if they did need to recruit more staff, they are not obliged to advertise Europe-wide and it would not make sense to hire someone to work with the team who doesn't speak Italian.

Requiring that they only hire local staff would lead to temporary staff for non-permanent jobs with the resultant lack of skill, expertise and team knowledge and a need for OTJ training. Having a permanent team which you move from job to job means a coherent well trained team with all the requisite team and job experience and the least required training and other associated costs. Which is probably why they were able to bid and win the work in the first place, even with the added accommodation and other costs.

The unions and Labour have been desperate to get what they saw as all the advantages of the EU as far as trade union rights for years; whatever further integration was available - they were at the front of the crew demanding it. Now the consequences are becoming evident they are looking for scapegoats claiming that the rules have been misapplied - but they haven't and, for all their claims and promises, they won't be able to change them.

I am not, and never have been, a supporter of the level of integration into the EU that successive governments have forced upon us; but I have nothing but scorn for those who now complain about the inevitable consequences of their own actions.

Andy_S
2nd Feb 2009, 14:44
They can apply for a job with the contractor; but if the contractor is Italian and has full time employees who can do the job why would he need to take on more staff?

He wouldn't, of course. Which is why he hasn't!!

My point was that it would be difficult to prove that the contractor had discriminated against UK workers (basically, because they didn't need to take on any workers full stop).

Other than that, I'm in full agreement with you, and I think your second paragraph explains, quite concisely, why the Italians got the job.

Storminnorm
2nd Feb 2009, 15:00
Spent many years working in Europe for various employers,
sometimes on contract work, and other times as a direct
employee, even before the EC were involved.
Never had any problems at all.
Remember Aufweidersehn Pet?.
Brits working in Europe never any hassle.
Now it's the other way round they're moaning.
Tough Luck boys. :rolleyes:

1DC
2nd Feb 2009, 15:30
a reporter on the local humberside news said,today, that the Italian company had advertised vacancies for local workers to work on the the refinery job before this started and there are vacancies even now.

driftdown
2nd Feb 2009, 15:32
I agree with the statement made by RAINBOE :ok:

If had to produce a quotation in response to a tender request I would be looking at all "known" costings and having a workforce available, known to me, how they work, the quality of the work performed gives me an idea of what I could achieve and how long it would take me to do it and therefore offer a competetive tender. If it is legal to employ 'my' workforce then I am damned sure thats who I want.

Having said that I can understand the frustration being expressed in the current economic climate, yet how many would be willing to up and go, leaving family and friends behind for 6 months maybe more to be employed I suspect not many :ouch:

Rainboe
2nd Feb 2009, 16:13
Remember Aufweidersehn Pet?.
Brits working in Europe never any hassle.
Quite right. German brickies may have felt aggrieved when thousands of Brit building workers flooded to Germany in the 70s and 80s, but they were allowed to work there without too much trouble undercutting the Germans. That's what it's all about. There is no case to answer. There is nothing that can (or should!) be done.

IB4138
2nd Feb 2009, 16:27
....and just who caused all this, with yet another throw away statement?

None other than The Prime Pillock, Gordon Brown.

Remember, him who claimed he had saved the World! :ugh:

Time for you lot left in the Uk to organise a coup d 'etat and get rid of him and his cronies before they do any more damage. You cannot afford to wait until he calls an election sometime next year.

Capot
2nd Feb 2009, 19:06
Friend of mine employs a Polish girl as secretary, admin, etc.

Out of 30+ applicants she was the only one who was not a British national.

He said that she was also the only one who could write good, grammatical English in her application letter and CV, and format them professionally, and she was the only who took the trouble to find out what the company did before she applied. And she did not put a "bubbly personality" at the top of her list of attributes, or indeed the only one as some of the British girls did..

fitliker
2nd Feb 2009, 19:09
Does anyone remember the QE2 refits ?
Why they went to a foreign shipyard ?
The papers said it was because they could not find the skills in the UK.
My welding friend was flown from Glasgow,put up in a nice hotel ,well fed and paid twice what he could have made in a Glasgow shipyard.And yet the French shipyard underbid the UK shipyards.The UK bids had way too much fat on them.
Their is way more to this story than just locals versus travelling labour. They should look at the bids with more scrutiny before blaming the workers again:ouch:

Andy_S
2nd Feb 2009, 19:35
And yet the French shipyard underbid the UK shipyards.The UK bids had way too much fat on them.

Either that, or the french shipyards had hidden subsidies.

M.Mouse
2nd Feb 2009, 19:41
He said that she was also the only one who could write good, grammatical English in her application letter and CV, and format them professionally, and she was the only who took the trouble to find out what the company did before she applied. And she did not put a "bubbly personality" at the top of her list of attributes, or indeed the only one as some of the British girls did..

Sadly I am not surprised.

In a similar vein it has been apparent that the efforts to travel to work today have been minimal on the part of many people. The roads here in Berkshire were OK with due caution yet over 50% of my girlfriends work colleagues 'couldn't get in'! I understand that some parts of the country had it worse than others but we appear to have bred a generation of molly coddled and uneducated shirkers.

mini
2nd Feb 2009, 22:51
"Spent many years working in Europe for various employers,
sometimes on contract work, and other times as a direct
employee, even before the EC were involved.
Never had any problems at all.
Remember Aufweidersehn Pet?.
Brits working in Europe never any hassle.
Now it's the other way round they're moaning.
Tough Luck boys. :rolleyes:"

+1 mini

Richard Taylor
3rd Feb 2009, 07:09
The Labour(ious) Govt will run out of time to challenge Eurocrat Legislation anyway, when the British people kick these bunch of losers out at the next General Election.

The clock is ticking Gordo................;)

747 jock
3rd Feb 2009, 12:30
Remember Aufweidersehn Pet?.
Brits working in Europe never any hassle

I remember it perfectly.
I used to do a fair bit of contracting work in Germany and France but
the big difference between this, and what is starting to happen in the UK, is that I was working alongside local workers, and was not employeed in preference to a local.

Other EU nationals working in the UK, No problem.
Other EU nationals working in the UK, and British nationals totally excluded from even applying for the job, big problem.

I wonder what would happen if an advert was placed in Flight International.

British Airways are looking to recruit cabin crew to be based in Paris. Minimum 5 years experience, and only British born applicants need apply.

The PC brigade would have a fit, and without a doubt, a court case would soon follow.

Andy_S
3rd Feb 2009, 13:02
747 Jock,

The truth, unfortunately, is not that simple.

An Italian company (I think they're called IREM) were given the contract to carry out this work. They have their own, directly employed, skilled and experienced workforce. Do you really expect them to try and employ local contract labour in preference (possibly leaving their own workers short of work)?

To say that British nationals were "totally excluded" is wrong. British companies would have had an opportunity to bid for this work. The question we should be asking is why they weren't able to secure the contract in their domestic market.

Blacksheep
3rd Feb 2009, 14:32
...why they weren't able to secure the contract in their domestic market.Possibly the share options and bonus terms for the CEO, CFO, CIO, the other C*Os, the EVPs, SVPs and VPs hiking the overhead costs?

Or on another track, so many "UK" companies are foreign owned, perhaps there aren't any "British" firms operating in this particular field?

1DC
3rd Feb 2009, 18:52
I am brginning to think that many of the people on the picket line at the refinery are just pawns in a bigger argument. One of the workers interviewed on local radio tonight said,in answer to a direct question, that all of the local people qualified to do the work that the Italians/Portuguese are doing are all fully employed anyway..

mad_jock
3rd Feb 2009, 23:32
I think 1DC has hit the nail on the head.

Years ago you could walk into a pub in Aberdeen and yell "anyone got their offshore ticket and is 6G qualified" And you would get half a dozen hands go up.

The likes of OIS were testing 16 welders a day, stainless the full works.

Now I don't think you have nearly as many qualified guys out there. All of them will be on perm contracts on the heavy maint teams.

This is going to become a big issue when they start building nukes again. Not only on the welding side of things but also the NDT. The white collar design teams and project engineers will be supplied with local talent as the UK has always under paid Professional Engineers compared to the rest of Europe.

Mind you we can always get Billy Connelly back as a bomber, he was never a welder apparently he was a radiographer

UL730
4th Feb 2009, 18:32
Hope Fabio Capello is not following this debacle too closely. :suspect: