Wednesday, October 27

UK offers thousands of 3-month visas to community workers due to petrol crisis




A maximum of £ 30 is what British drivers are allowed to refuel at UK petrol stations, which have practically run out of fuel due to not enough truck drivers to take it from refineries to service stations as fuel is The desperate mass purchase that was unleashed at the end of last week has not stopped, causing endless queues at gas stations, where some people yesterday tried to fill their plastic bottles with fuel, and the tension between customers has caused clashes with blows and even razor blades.

Meanwhile, on social networks again and again the neighbors ask where they can buy or even if there is home delivery for those who have been left with an empty tank; essential services workers denounced the inability to go to work, and the London Taxi Drivers Association announced that a third of the taxis were uncirculated.

The situation has reached such a point that the government of the prime minister Boris Johnson has the military ready to get behind the wheel of the tanker trucks and has also offered thousands of three-month visas for European workers, many of whom left due to the pandemic and once, with the Brexit, the requirements to work in the country were tightened.

Driver deficit

The big question is whether the community members are willing to return, and the answer from one of the largest unions in the sector is no. This was stated in a BBC program by Edwin Atema, head of research at the FNV Union, which represents drivers of heavy vehicles from the EU and Europe. Ateta was clear: ‘The EU workers we have spoken to will not go to the UK to get a short-term visa to help them get out of the shit they created themselves,’ he replied, alluding not just to Brexit, but to the precarious working conditions these workers have to endure.

As he explained, “companies see drivers simply as an extension of the vehicle”, and many times they do not have access even to decent sanitation services on the long routes they must travel. Hence even “a raise in pay is not enough.” “In the UK, there is not even a collective agreement for the entire trucking industry,” he said. Thus, although Brexit seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, the causes of the driver deficit in the country, which are causing problems in the supply chain not only of fuel but also in the food sector, are more.

The conservative politician Iain Duncan Smith He wrote in a column in The Telegraph newspaper that “this is a European problem and the culprit is the coronavirus,” and detailed that “the total European deficit of heavy vehicle drivers is now more than 400,000. For example, in Poland it’s 124,000 drivers, in the UK it’s 60,000 and in Germany it’s roughly the same as in the UK, but this is expected to increase to 185,000 drivers by 2027. ‘ For the parliamentarian, what we now see are the «consequences of the decision-making on confinement, which are beginning to hit us. Clearly, there has been little planning or vision for the future, “he criticized, and considered:” I’m not sure how the visa changes will help now, when all of Europe is also looking for drivers.

Boris Johnson declared Tuesday that the crisis was caused by “a slightly misleading account” product of a leak, which in turn caused “public demand to increase”, but assured that “the situation is stabilizing” and promised that his government is working so that chaos does not take over Christmas.

“We want to make sure that we have all the necessary preparations to get to Christmas and beyond, not only in the supply for service stations, but in all parts of the supply chain,” he said, referring to the problems in the distribution of food that supermarkets and restaurants are also suffering.

The ‘premier’ also affirmed that the number of missing drivers “is not very large” despite the fact that it is estimated that about 100,000 are necessary to meet the current needs of the country, and emphasized the urgency that they receive more salaries. high, while warning that the shortage “should not be fixed” by turning to foreign workers.

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