Eastern European Workers

I watched "British Workers Wanted" last night on channel 4.  It was centered around a recruitment agency who mainly employed Eastern Europeans, they were paying around £7.25 an hour (national minimum wage?).  Basically all the workers were heading back home and they agency needed to find British workers instead to fill the gaps. The programme makers blamed Brexit in a roundabout way.  However, I was wondering about this, is it Brexit or were these people heading off home already?  I remember about 4 years hearing an interview with a number of fruit farmers who were saying that they were having problems recruiting people.  For whatever reason they just weren't coming over to work here and this was way before Brexit.  I can't believe that they are already leaving because decisions haven't been made yet about permits and visas although I suspect the uncertainty doesn't help!  Has anyone had similar issues ie people leaving or seasonal workers you relied on are getting harder to find or this just the media cooking up a Brexit storm again?

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  • PRO
    I would strongly believe Brexit and some of the nasty sentiment around it which hasn't started overnight is the blame.<br/>
    Did you see the part where they asked the eastern European guy on the street about it? He said people are unkind to him because of his nationality and a lot of his friends have left because of this kind of thing and because they no longer feel welcome. I'm sure a lot of people made them feel unwelcome before Brexit but that just put fuel on the fire. It's not just about the legal decisions that are to come but can you imagine living and working hard somewhere where you felt you were not wanted or worse were threatened or abused for being the wrong race? A black friend of mine was shouted at and told to go home recently. He's bloody Scottish for f@@ sake. Born there, Scottish mum and Guyanese father and this is nor something he experienced before Brexit. <br/>
    I lived in Bognor for a few years about 15 years ago and one of my first jobs was picking tomatoes for minimum wage 6 days a week starting at 5 in the morning and there was me and one other brit with the rest eastern European. They worked 3 times the speed we did for the bonus. There were plenty of unemployed young brits hanging about the streets who could have the work if they wanted. Yes it's poorly paid but for a young person starting out with low overheads it was fine.<br/>
    I then moved onto my first gardening job working on all the local parks, cemeteries etc and the people I worked with were sometimes quite racist about the eastern European workers but I think the final push for these people will be feeling as though the whole country is against them now. Sad as they are just people like you and me trying their best to survive and look after their families.
    • Yes I did see that bit and you are right its sad that someone trying to make a living is treated that way.  I also feel that we have taken advantage in the UK and allowed these people to come and work here and taken little notice/care of the conditions they must live in.  I was in London last week and all nearly all the shops/foodoutlets employee these poeple, I suspect they are paid very little and I just wonder where they all live!  I couldn't live in London on £8/9 ph so how can they?

  • I read an article in a Cornish newspaper about the same thing, saying that there was produce rotting in the fields as the eastern block workers had left, the article blamed brexit, the farmers in the article blamed brexit. Strange that Cornwall voted leave although all it's European poverty money and labour is now disappearing! The sentiments on the fields in Cornwall a decade ago was hatred towards the foreigners for stealing their jobs etc, but the only locals turned away by the farmer where those who had directly stolen from the farm in the past. Frankly, I never saw more than 50 locals turned up in a morning, most off their heads and struggling, compared to the 100 odd migrant workers, each with their own internal divides of country, area, wealth etc. Who turned up raring to go (a lot also off their heads) and worked like machine all day. They were mostly pretty good guys. The point I'm trying to make is that there weren't 150 Cornish turning up each day with 100 being turned away, and now there's produce rotting in the fields in an area of very low employment.. the last 2 decades of hand outs and middle management aimed career paths has royally shafted this countries productivity.
  • I Suppose the veg and soft fruit industry was a cottage industry with the farmer and family doing most of the work.  Then as the cheap foreign labour came in it was a chance to expand these businesses.  I guess the next step is more automation but I don't know if this sort of equipment exists yet or if it does how sophisticated it is.

  • PRO
    The value of the pound has dropped, so when foreign workers convert their pay packets into their home currency their take home pay is significantly down. So they are better off hoping elsewhere in Europe to do the same job elsewhere.

    Locally I am seeing mainly Portuguese workers in the flats where I call to do work and the East Europeans do seem to be moving on. This week I knocked the door of a flat to find that the Bulgarian cousins who were renting it and working at the central heating boiler manufacturing company have gone, to where I do not know, but I guess I will never see them again despite having been casual acquaintances for several years. The flat has been let to a young NHS worker, who I presume is local.

    Whether this will "improve" the country we have yet to see. We are in this situation of being in a state of phoney Brexit, where nothing has actually happened apart from talking and arguing. When the real Brexit is underway things could go pear shaped overnight with the economy crashing or nothing may happen, but I can't foresee a sudden improvement in the state of the country and its economy due to Brexit having started work in the seventies before we joined the EU and remembering the state of the country before membership going back appears a big mistake.

  • PRO
    I completed a survey from Screwfix last night asking if I think my work load is better or worse than last year and what I expect for the next year amongst other things.

    To be honest I don't know, we are in a state of limbo with a load of @@@@ balanced above a fan waiting to see if it hits it.

  • a lot of the eastern European workers come here to work (and graft) for 6 months then go back home then they will get all the tax back 

    I can remember in my younger days going spud and pea picking and it was back braking work now they have machines that do it also the work ethic is not instilled into half of the youngsters today as it was in the past. too easy to get benefits. I better stop as I am stepping onto my soap box 

  • PRO
    If I were to go and work in Spain for six months, then the UK for the other six months of the year would I get all my tax back?

    • depends where you paid your tax, its like if you loose your job and do not find another for a few months you will get a tax rebate 

      I do not know how they go on in Spain as I have never worked there but it seems a lot of the eu countries  ignore the rules to benefit themselves 

    • PRO
      A friend of mine is working in France for the last few years but pays no tax as he works on a super yacht!
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