The Financial Times (not my normal daily reading honest) ran a story today about how Brexit is now causing staff shortages, especially within the farming sector, factories and restaurants.
Now I have no doubt that many EU citizens have decided to head home given the xenophobia of many in the UK right now, mainly in England if BBC Question Time is anything to go by, but also including far too many politicians from the unionist parties down South but even here in Scotland. When you add in the refusal of the Conservative Government to guarantee EU citizens status in the UK, they would rather use them as some kind of EU migrant human shield in the Brexit negotiations, is it any wonder that many have decided to get out while the going is good.
The article also goes on to say that there will be price rises as a result of this shortage and I just thought, of course it will, when doesn’t anything in this country not result in price rises, and people go on about American business being money grabbing bastards.
The story also got me thinking that this isn’t really about Brexit, it is about poverty pay and exploitation by British employers, especially in the farming industry. The majority of this work is very hard, physical and back-breaking work, which pays the minimum wage of £5.30 per hour for those under the age of 22 years and £6.70 for those over 25 years, poverty wages by anyone’s standards.
On top of poverty pay you also have the disgusting practices that see employment agencies charging £7.00 per shift for transport. An investigation by the Independent found that some farms charged EU workers £31.22 for a pod or tent to sleep in, £35.00 for so called pastoral care, £2.75 for entertainment which consisted of access to Wi-Fi. The list goes but someone working a 40-hour week would be paid around £165, or £179 if over 25, after tax and breaks were deducted, how the hell does that pay any rent or buy you food. One worker described his job as “Welcome to hell. This is the worst job I have ever done. Your knees will kill you by the end of the day.”
I have commented before that too many scumbags in this country, including the current Conservative Government, will see Brexit as an excuse to further erode the gains that poor people made in the last 100 years in relation to terms and conditions of employment. The headline below will become all to real once the Tories really get going.
Whatever your views on Brexit it is clear that EU workers have been exploited, Brexit will no doubt continue that trend but now they will be looking at you, hell mend you if you are currently looking for work and having to access DWP in this country, your card will be well and truly marked.