Trouble at t'mill.
HUNDREDS of furious British oil workers downed tools yesterday in protest at the hiring of cheap foreign labour.
As the UK jobs crisis continues to deepen, the entire workforce at a refinery near Immingham Docks, Humberside, walked off the job.
The 600 workers – made up of skilled riggers, scaffolders, welders and construction engineers – were outraged after learning that 220 Italian workers have been brought in to join them on the Lindsey Oil Refinery, Britain’s third largest.
The foreign workforce has been staying in a “floating hotel” at nearby Grimsby and was brought in by Total, the French oil giant which owns the refinery. Under EU law the company is allowed to undercut British wages by hiring employees from other member states.
It follows similar outrage over foreign construction teams allegedly being favoured for the building of a new power station at Staythorpe, near Newark, Nottinghamshire.
Union chiefs say the situations in Grimsby and Staythorpe make a mockery of Gordon Brown’s promise of “British jobs for British workers”.
And they believed him? There is no mainstream political party in Britain which supports the notion of British jobs for British workers or even one that places British interests as a priority. They all favour membership of the EU and this is what that membership means. Where it is possible to move jobs to cheaper states they will do that - where it isn't possible they will bring in foreign, cheaper workers to take jobs that would otherwise be performed by British workers.
Britain is one of the few member states that actually plays by the EU rules. While Gordon Brown bleats about how we mustn't allow protectionism to creep back into our trade systems, other EU nations - particularly France and Germany - use loopholes to implement protectionist policies or blatantly ignore the rules. They can do this because they dominate the EU.
As long as we remain in the EU our political classes will continue to weight British jobs, British workers and British interests no higher than those of the other member states - while those other member states will continue to put their national interests in the forefront.
There is only one answer. Leave the EU.