Any EU citizen from anywhere in the EU can come and work here in the UK. There are some minor restrictions but on the whole the UK in time honoured manner, has taken full advantage of what is a hard working and willing labour force from Eastern Europe, Poland in particular.
I have worked with some Poles for the last few years and they don't know that they're entitled to a 20 minute break after 6 hours of non-stop work. We have to keep reminding them - "hey - break time - tea-up" etc.
My company is now taking on more work than was ever possible before and no, these Polish workers do not work for peanuts, they're paid the same as everyone else, which in our case is about £5.50 - £6 an hour.
One minor point which is also often over looked - we also employ a number of African workers - all of whom have British Passports and as Commonwealth Citizens [British] can work here in UK. Many of these men were here as students back in the 1970s and have returned to make a better life for their families. Most have bought their own homes outright with their own cash from their various African adventures and enterprises.
One very important point I'd like to make is that the African workers here in UK send quite a lot of their money back home. One friend of mine explained to me that he was sending £40 a month back to his maternal grandmother and as a result she was able to give up work and retire in her 82nd year. Forty quid is a cheap meal in a restaurant here in London, but in Africa it's a living income.
What this actually means is that the aid which we send to Africa may not actually be needed in quite the same way as it possibly is today. The real money will come from the cash being sent home via WESTERN UNION Telegraph Money Transfer etc.
· 1 decade ago