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Observer II

Fruit pickers wanted -

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Farmers are panicking that fruit and vegetables will not be farmed due to a lack of immigrant labour from E/Europe; and have even asked for concessions to bring those workers in.  Now with all the job losses caused by the shut downs, surely there is now enough spare labour to complete the harvest ?   If additional monetry incentives don't work; then perhaps conscripted labour can ?  Exceptional situations call for exceptional decisions.

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I believe if there was an appeal for help in doing this, then there’d be plenty of people willing to get involved. People’s attitudes change during times of national emergency although I’m sure there will always be some miserable sods who would rather sit on heir backsides than lift a finger to help.

It always rattled me to think that we import labour from the continent while paying huge amounts to have people out of work because it’s not the kind of job they want.

 

Bill 😊

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If workers are imported they should at least be paid the national minimum or living wage.

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That would mean that a Polish worker say would be getting three times more here than he would back home, no wonder their queuing up to come over.  

 

Bill :)

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2 hours ago, Bill said:

That would mean that a Polish worker say would be getting three times more here than he would back home, no wonder their queuing up to come over.  

 

Bill :)

Possibly Polish workers are looking at the statistics and noticing that they are 30 times more likely to die of CV19 in the UK than if they stay home eating kielbasa 🤔

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5 hours ago, Davy51 said:

If workers are imported they should at least be paid the national minimum or living wage.

With Countries throughout Europe in lock downs,  I can't see any possibility of allowing free movement of immigrant labour.   Mind you, the bleeding hearts are complaining that the illegal immigrants held in UK detention are being held in close crowded conditions, contrary to the social distancing rule.  The simple solution for this would be to deport them asap !      😷

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13 hours ago, Bill said:

That would mean that a Polish worker say would be getting three times more here than he would back home, no wonder their queuing up to come over.  

 

Bill :)

But we do have a government implemented minimum wage that should be across the board. No wonder firms have targeted east European labour while our people have been languishing at home on benefits. (Tongue in cheek that last bit .)

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Davy.

I think the farmers do have to pay minimum wages irrespective of where the labour comes from but it’s the fact that even at that level, the foreign workers are getting three time more for doing the job. The Poles can earn a small fortune over a few months and make enough to put their feet up for the rest of the year, so having to relocate for a while is worth it.

Now contrast that with the British.  Would anyone here like to move away from the family and go and live in a caravan or shed, miles from home for three or four months at a time and earn about the same as you’d get for sitting at home watching TV? It’s just not going to happen, so we either continue to import cheap labour or do something to radically change the system.

Maybe if the farmers were given a subsidy equal to the dole, that could be paid on top of the minimum wage, then seasonal fruit picking would become a chance for the unemployed to get out and earn some decent money. Or if you don’t like the sound of that, let people on the dole be able to go out and earn minimum wages but don’t stop their dole or benefits. Either way, the fruit gets picked without importing people and nobodies any worse off.

Everyone’s a winner. The worker gets more. The farmer doesn’t pay any extra, the government doesn’t pay any extra, unemployment figures go down and the fruit gets picked!!!   

I should be the bloody Prime Minister, budge over Boris.

 

Bill 😊

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1 hour ago, Observer II said:

Three job offers on the dole, after which, if you don't take one, you cease getting any dole.    😉

You have to prove you have been actively been looking for work and have been available to start work or at least attend a job interview during the times that you "sign on" at the dwp.

I went through it for a couple of years between jobs. They said at one point that because i was keeping an eye on my father in law twice a week that they would stop my money. I chuckled and said "go ahead" quite well aware that i was only signing on to get my pension topped up. The look on the guy's face when he accessed my details was well worth it. I wasn't bothered as i had just got my card for working with vulnerable people and was starting as a passenger escort the following day.

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You have to prove you have been actively been looking for work

Yes and that’s why any employer that advertises for staff gets flooded with applications from people who know they haven’t got a cat in hells chance of even making it through to an interview and just want to say they’ve applied for something. Even when offered an interview, most make excuses for why they cant attend, I’ve had first had experience of this and it’s sickening when young fit and intelligent people would rather stay at home than work.

I know not every one’s a lazy sod and there are many who could work but have resigned themselves to the fact that due to age, ability or family circumstances probably never will, and simply adapt their lifestyle to making do with a lower income from the state. It’s people from this latter group who could be tempted to go out and pick fruit provided it’s well paid and there are no drawbacks such as having to wait ages for support again when the work finishes.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s doable but it’s the same old chestnut of it not being the way we do things here in the UK unless it’s been debated for years. Look at the ventilator that the Mercedes F1 team helped to get up and running in a week. The device got instant approval because of the emergency but under normal circumstances they estimate it would have taken several years to get made and several more just to get it approved.

 

Bill :)

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"Desperate times call for desperate measures" a quote that springs to mind.

under normal circumstances it would be done for profit and rigorous testing carried out into all possibilities of failure of the equipment.

under the current circumstances immediate profit goes out the window as does the testing. it is a case of "if it works use it". (also good publicity for them when things do get back to something like normal).

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Perhaps some of the holidaymakers at Her Majesty's pleasure could be put to work to offset the cost of their upkeep.

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There are now plenty of unemployed folk, many have been promised 80% of previous wages; so if they can earn an additional wage fruit picking, it should serve as an incentive. Failing that, and subject to a Corvid19 test screening,  they need to be conscripted; failiure to comply means no money at all.

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5 hours ago, Davy51 said:

Perhaps some of the holidaymakers at Her Majesty's pleasure could be put to work to offset the cost of their upkeep.

Problem is that you would need six warders to each one so they don't go and see if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence...🤔

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On 3/30/2020 at 12:57 PM, Bill said:

Davy.

I think the farmers do have to pay minimum wages irrespective of where the labour comes from but it’s the fact that even at that level, the foreign workers are getting three time more for doing the job. The Poles can earn a small fortune over a few months and make enough to put their feet up for the rest of the year, so having to relocate for a while is worth it.

😊

Poland isn't exactly a third world country, it is classed as a high income country by the world bank.

While wages are lower in Poland they have been growing rapidly, cost of living is lower too.

 

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Milkey

I only used the Polish as an example but the fruit pickers are only going to come from countries where the minimum wage differential is significant. Bet we don't have many Germans or French coming over to pick our strawberries for us. 

 

Bill :)

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A farmer interviewed on TV news, was asked why he can't employ British workers; he said that they "lacked the necessary skills set" - to pick fruit !     😉

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Eastern European farm workers are being flown to the UK on charter flights to pick fruit and vegetable crops.

Air Charter Service has told the BBC that the first flight will land on Thursday in Stansted carrying 150 Romanian farm workers.

The firm told the BBC that the plane is the first of up to six set to operate between mid-April and the end of June.

Government department Defra said it was encouraging people across the UK "to help bring the harvest in".

British farmers recently warned that crops could be left to rot in the field because of a shortage of seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Travel restrictions due to the coronavirus lockdown have meant most workers have stayed at home.

Several UK growers have launched a recruitment drive, calling for local workers to join the harvest to prevent millions of tonnes of fruit and vegetables going to waste. However, concerns remain that they won't be able to fulfil the demand on farms.

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With most people having nothing to do at the moment then surely there are plenty of us available to help local farmers in our areas pick fruit and harvest stuff. 
I'd certainly volunteer if there were farmers round here needing help...well saying that I'm still in work but I would help on my days off.

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That's great Dizzy! Any idea how much they pay an hour? Any benefits? Pension contributions? Holiday pay? Overtime payments? Sickness benefits? Transport to and from site? PPE provided? Of course refreshments mid-morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon provided by the employer? If so count me in (subject to contract).

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8 hours ago, asperity said:

That's great Dizzy! Any idea how much they pay an hour? Any benefits? Pension contributions? Holiday pay? Overtime payments? Sickness benefits? Transport to and from site? PPE provided? Of course refreshments mid-morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon provided by the employer?

Will i have to declare it on my tax return?....🤫

 

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