The British government finally broke down: under months of pressure due to manpower shortages in the United Kingdom, it announced on Saturday, 25 September, that it would grant 10,500 temporary work visas for the last three months of the year. This recourse to foreign workers, a real change, reflects a lack of weapons across the channel.
Milkshakes and lack of fuel…
Symptoms have started to appear more and more in recent weeks. Fast food giant McDonald’s has stopped distributing its milkshakes and bottled drinks. And Nando’s, a chain of South African origin, has closed nearly fifty of its restaurants since mid-August due to a lack of supply of its two basic ingredients: chickens and pili-pili sauce.
→ report. Brexit, Covid-19… United Kingdom seeks emergency workers
Thursday, September 23, multinational companies BP and Exxon announced difficulties in the supply of fuel to some gas stations and rationing measures … This prompted a mild wind of panic and the formation of long lines of motorists refueling . Transport Minister Grant Shapps accused the Road Haulage Association of being responsible for this onset of chaos, letting it filter that he estimated a shortage of truck drivers at 100,000.
Reason two: Brexit and the pandemic
The profession will benefit nearly half of the 10,500 provisional visas announced later this week, which underscore how important the logistics business is to the British economy, hit by Brexit on the one hand, the pandemic on the other.
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Economists are still struggling to determine the respective effects of these two factors, and even to calculate the number of workers left after leaving the EU: perhaps several hundred thousand, to be weighed against the six million Europeans who have adopted orderly position, giving them the right to live and work in the UK.
dissatisfaction with the profession
While continued lockdowns have weakened training and issuance of permits to new drivers, the government hopes to make up for lost time by mobilizing its agents from the ministries of education and defense to take exams under constraints. He will also send requests by mail to encourage former drivers to return to work. This mobilization underscores that the roots of the problem are very old: the difficult nature of the work and its low remuneration have led to carriers struggling to keep their workers, who are deeply dissatisfied with the profession, especially citizens. feed to.
When the United Kingdom was part of the European Union, the effects of the presence of foreign workers on British soil were debated. If unemployment remained low after the borders to Eastern Europe opened in 2004, their arrival may also have contributed to lower wages. Reasons why Transport Minister told employers “Improving working conditions and wages to retain new drivers”.
The issuance of the provisional visa is a turning point for the pro-Brexit government, which has never stopped emphasizing that it wants the country to be less dependent on foreign labor. The president of the Chamber of Commerce estimated that the number of visas would be insufficient, as the year-end dense period draws near, generating a peak in commercial activity. In addition, other sectors such as health are also heavily affected by the use of foreign workers.