It became clear on Monday that the government was ready to openly fight with businesses when ministers declared at the Tory Congress that the government was not responsible for empty shelves and fuel shortages. Whitehall insiders accused British firms of being “drunk on cheap labor” from abroad and failing to prepare for the post-Brexit economy, insisting that industry should take responsibility.
However, corporate leaders have resisted and insisted that the government was to blame, saying they could have avoided the current shortage of truck drivers by making sure enough drivers could get into the country to fill the gaps, which are the main cause of the supply chain crisis.
Where do you stand? Are you for or against cheap labor? Find out where your fellow readers are up for debate and share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
“Britain has relied on cheap unskilled labor for too long”
@Martin E. Ridley:
“Those companies that train new employees, pay them a decent wage, equip their businesses with technology, and provide the goods and services will be the winners.
“Britain has relied on cheap unskilled labor for too long, subsidized by taxpayers through the welfare system.
“If we want truck drivers, pay them the right way and keep the facilities clean, safe so the job is attractive.”
“Pay people right for their work”
@ Graham Boyd:
“It is time the government proclaimed these companies. The fuel crisis or not was mainly caused by BP wanting cheap labor and the BBC jumping on a potential anti-Brexit story. The fact that the crisis is apparently in a week suggests that there never was one.
“Companies were too dependent on cheap labor from abroad. They now have to pay people appropriately for the work they do. And the europhile middle class will have to accept that.”
“Some sectors of our economy will not be viable without foreign workers”
“Some sectors in our economy – particularly agriculture and food processing – will not be viable without foreign workers. Even if wages in those sectors double, the young people in our country simply will not work in slaughterhouses, slaughter pigs or the day spend.” berry picking after the day – even for £ 20 or £ 30 an hour, and at those wage rates it becomes cheaper to import food from Europe. “
“Pay them on a par with London Underground drivers and they will come out of the woodwork in droves”
“There are no truck drivers? There is really no shortage of them.
“Pay them £ 60,000 a year for a 37-hour week comparable to London Underground drivers and they will be coming out of the woodwork in droves. My nephew has a Class 1 truck license along with one PSV LICENSE. He is offered jobs. ” as I see advertised at £ 18 an hour which he would not get involved in. He currently makes £ 18 an hour and is at home with his family every night, not pushing a 40-ton truck down the M6 like many others. “
“It’s time to invest in training and automation”
“I am critical of the Tories in many ways, but the charge that the industry is drunk on cheap labor is correct. Our productivity is low because the labor is cheap. The industry expects the taxpayer to top up wages with social benefits in training and automation. “
“We have got used to stable prices and low inflation”
“I think there is some truth to what the government is saying, but the downside of that is that we’ve gotten used to prices staying stable or even going down and inflation being low.
“The government and affected workers will be happy when wages rise, but the downside for the public will be rising prices and much higher inflation. Just what Conservatives would traditionally suggest as a result of a Labor government. Funny old world where Conservatives are the new Labor Party. “
“It is time they paid the working class British their wages for the job”
“You have had five years to pull yourself together since the Brexit vote. But of course the big corporations thought that they would bring us back to the EU through what was left of the fifth column. That will not happen. Great British the tariff for the job. “
“The problem is not that wages are too low”
@ Mike Smith:
“I think the problem is not so much too low wages as the economy is simply geared to an EU-sized labor market and now has to cope with a little over a tenth the size, which is a massive realignment for” many industries and business models . “
“There is a labor shortage the British cannot fill”
@Jonathan Rodriguez Acosta:
“There is a labor shortage that the British cannot fill. The mutual guilt of the government and the private sector is a joke that will not work.
“The government should spend more on education and funding, and the industry should review their wages and see what they really want from the people of this country.
“Seriously, truck drivers who sleep on the street and pee in bottles, or health assistants who work 12.5 hours a day to get back to their rented room in a shared apartment, is not what I consider a developed country say we can do a lot better. “
“We are cost-conscious employers”
@ Chris Jarvis:
“We are cost-conscious employers and have benefited from cheap labor. It’s time to reassess attitudes, product systems, and consumption.
“It’s pointless finger pointing. This is a complex system problem and the elements need to be singled out and adjusted one by one with good government and institutional improvements.”