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Employment protest in Wales could be the first of many

Around 100 unemployed construction workers are today protesting outside the Uskmouth power station in South Wales where there is a dispute about the number of local staff working on the project. Siemens, which is in charge of the project, claims that a promise to employ a minimum of 80% of the workforce from the local community has been upheld with 81.5% either British or Irish. However, this comes on the same day that the UK government is set to announce a raft of changes to the employment market which should "protect British jobs for British workers".

However, despite the fact that 16 new conditions will be introduced to the employment market it is claimed the only one in 10 work permits from last year would have been rejected in the new environment. This is hardly a defining moment in the UK employment market and still leaves the door wide open to foreign workers and foreign contractors to bring in cheap labour. At a time when money is tight and unemployment is growing, we are set to see a growing number of employment disputes in the UK which will place more and more pressure on the UK government.

In simple terms, the government can tweak the various employment regulations regarding foreign workers but ultimately under the EU banner there is very little the government can do regarding freedom of movement within the EU and restriction of employment opportunities.

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