Letter: Auf wiedersehen for British brickies

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The Independent Online
From Mr Allan Black

Sir: In his article"British brickies face sack from German jobs" (10 February), Imre Karacs states that 80,000 British construction workers will say goodbye to Germany because of changes in German industrial relation law.

As the only UK union with offices on the continent, the GMB is in a unique position to observe the exploitation of workers from the UK by German employers willing to flout the spirit, if not the letter, of German law.

The German initiative, which is to be welcomed, comes in advance of a European directive on employment rights which has been sidelined because the British government, among others, is wrangling over the length of time people can work abroad without being affected by local legislation.

In fact, the British government has a lot to answer for. Not only has it slowed down the introduction of the European directive, but it has also failed to provide sufficient construction work to stop skilled British workers having to ply their trade abroad.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Black

National Officer

GMB

London, SW19

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