Saturday, 31 January 2009

Reverting Back To Type?

I have a great deal of sympathy for British workers who will struggle to find work because of the decision to bring in Italian and Portuguese workers to deliver a contract awarded to an Italian firm. The people to blame are not, however, the foreign workers or the company who awarded the contract in the first place. The people we should blamed are the Labour government who, over the past 12 years, have changed contract and employment law to allow this to happen.

I don't expect Labour will accept that the Social Chapter and minimum wage legislation they enforced on this country have down sides, as well as positives. In good times the positives provided great benefit to our communities and they were easy to defend, but the truth is they are too rigid in their design and when companies need some flexibility to navigate through difficult economic times the way this legislation is structured in the UK means they find it very difficult to do what is best for the employees they are able to continue to employ.

Our Trade Unions were quick to demand the introduction of many of the laws that are now disadvantaging their members and they must reconcile this with any decision to allow secondary strike action. Instead of reverting back to type perhaps UK Trade Union' should question why Gordon Brown's great claim of "British jobs for British workers" is proving to be nothing more than a hollow Labour soundbite?

Wildcat strikes in the power industry will ultimately mean only two groups of people suffer - the striking workers who lose pay and the public who will pay more for their power to compensate for any loses incurred by generating companies.

What our country needs now is a government prepared to stand up for British interests at home and abroad. Labour have failed to do this over the past 12 years and, whether you are a trade union member or not, we are all now suffering as a result.

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