An interesting little story here about the "fight" to get agency workers the same rights and privileges as permanent staff.
Deborah French who worked in the slicing hall for 19 years packing bacon for Tesco and M&S is now joining her two sisters who were made redundant in that last round. One of them has not worked since. What galled her was being asked to train the agency workers who had replaced them. "This affects so many people’s lives, so many husbands and wives and cousins and children worked in the company. It’s the economy round here."
These are the kind of workers at the heart of a campaign being fought by unions determined to make equal rights for agency workers one of the issues of this week’s Labour party conference. They will attack the government for failing to support a measure they say is vital to protect local and migrant workers and to stop a growing racial backlash.
Danny thinks he lost his job because there are people from other countries willing to take less pay. "The companies are just bringing in cheap labour from abroad. Migrants want a better life and good luck to them, but it’s bringing down our way of life. If you are an unskilled English person like me you are not going to get the jobs when unskilled foreigners are cheaper."
Of course, we know this is what it’s all about: it’s not about upgrading the rights of the temporary workers so as to protect them. It’s about upgrading said rights to make them more expensive, so that they will no longer be able to compete withhte indigenous labour who are the actual union members. As I say, we know this, it’s just odd to see it being stated so baldly.
To repeat, and remember this next time some union drone goes on about it, this isn’t about protecting the rights of migrant or agency workers. It’s a protectionist measure to deny them jobs.