We’d be forgiven for thinking the eighties had revisited us what with growing unemployment figures, hard-hitting recessions and now mass industrial action. Yes, workers striking in protest against them bloody forriners getting all our jobs. Every time I switch the news on, I keep expecting to see Margaret Thatcher shouting at us all and declaring that she’s still not for turning. Makes me shudder.
I support the workers. I feel for them in their worry and their distress. But come on – “British jobs for British Workers”? What a ridiculous and misleading slogan to use! Do you think Gordon Brown has finished eating his words yet? The far rights groups will certainly feed off this for months. The BNP, whose policy has always been to employ British workers first, has already hijacked the strikes and it doesn’t need me to quote any of the the usual predictable tosh they’re now coming out with on their website.
Pointing the finger at the foreign worker is divisive at a time when worker solidarity is needed. But it’s also a bit hypocritical because I’m sure we all know somebody whose dad or brother or cousin in the construction industry spent two or three years working in Germany or Belgium trying to earn some decent money when times were tough here. Who can blame those foreigners for wanting to do the same . . . take a few risks and seek some good pay abroad?
Sure, the militancy is absolutely justified but the unions need to be targeting the greedy bosses and the government, not foreign workers. They should be walking out in protest at the lack of action by Gordon Brown to support their pay and their jobs. Bankers get massive bail-outs. The workers get pay cuts and lay-offs. That’s what they should be getting militant about.
I support and defend the strikers but for god’s sake, get rid of that stupid slogan.