Migrant workers 'going home'

THE increasing industrial unrest over the number of migrant workers employed in the UK took another twist today when it was claimed companies are cutting back on overseas workers as a response to the recession.

Graham Dines

THE increasing industrial unrest over the number of migrant workers employed in the UK took another twist today when it was claimed companies are cutting back on overseas workers as a response to the recession.

Giving evidence to a session of the cross-party Home Affairs Select Committee, the, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry John Cridland said workers from Poland and other Eastern European countries were already going home because there are fewer jobs in Britain.

He said that firms were making the cuts, especially to agency workers, in response to the fall in demand for their products and services.

He said: “Quite a lot of the workers who came here from Poland and other of the A8 states are returning to their home countries because of declining employment opportunities here.”

Defending the free movement of workers between EU countries, Mr Cridland said there was no evidence” of discrimination against British workers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in north Lincolnshire, even though the firm said it was employing Portuguese and Italians in its workforce.

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Speaking on behalf of farmers, Paul Temple, the vice-chairman of the National Farmers' Union told the committee it was still difficult to fill seasonal jobs in fruit picking with British workers. “Those job opportunities are there and people don't choose to take them, even in areas of high unemployment.”