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Confusion in the UK workplace

UK unions are today on the case of the UK worker with news that employers are refusing to give U.K.-based workers priority over foreign staff in the engineering and construction industry. On one hand the unions are looking to protect U.K.-based workers while on the other, employers are concerned about their potential liabilities under the UK law.

Yet again we are seeing Gordon Brown's "British jobs for British workers" quote coming back to haunt him with the unions now adamant that something needs to be done sooner rather than later. The current situation centres round the Lindsay oil refinery strike which soon spread across the country and brought significant disruption to the UK power supply industry. This is not the first time we have seen a confrontation between the unions, U.K.-based workers and foreign workers and it is unlikely to be the last.

As we approach the next general election the rights and obligations of UK workers and UK employers are sure to come under the microscope with the Conservative Party promoting an anti-European bias and the Labour Party promoting a pro-European bias. It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few months as this is a very emotional and vital area of the UK economy.

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