Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Refinery strikes: European views

Sub-contractors hold a demonstration outside the Aberthaw power station in south Wales
The walkouts began in Lincolnshire and have reached Wales and Scotland.

Strikes have been breaking out across the UK in support of a mass walkout by energy workers in Lincolnshire angry at the use of foreign workers.

They have been supported by hundreds of other "sympathy" strikers in Scotland, Wales and other parts of England.

Total has said there would be "no direct redundancies" at the refinery, but unions say British staff should be doing the work

BBC News website readers from other countries in the European Union (EU) have been sending their views about the demonstrations.

ALESSANDRO GIUDICI, PHD STUDENT, 28, LONDON, UK

I am Italian doing a PhD in the UK after two years of working here.

I used to work in an Italian plant that produced paper and was very near to the Lindsey Oil Refinery.

This company created at least 300 jobs for British people, because that was the deal they made with the local government.

I can't understand why people from the same area are now complaining.

The current crisis is showing that many people are losing the capacity of look at reality in an objective way, not only in the UK obviously, because in Italy it is the same.

Nobody is taking to consideration the fact the UK is a member of the EU. That is good when times are good, but can't just be ignored when times are bad.

I don't think that we can start to doubt again about the goodness of the mobility inside the EU just because of the recession.

A lot of Mediterranean countries, and Italy probably even more than others, have been suffering these kind of problems from a long time with illegal immigration. This was managed by the EU.

I don't think that we can start to question the benefits of mobility inside the EU just because of the recession.

We all remember in some ways what can happen when people in Europe start to forget that we are common friends and that we should work all together for common solutions.

How many highly skilled British employees are there around the world? And they go there because they are paid more, which is a good thing. But actually, they are doing the job that a local employee could do.

ALEX VELCHEV, 32, BOOKMAKER, BULGARIAN IN ROME

I have lived in Britain, Switzerland and now Italy.

I think Britain should understand that the walls fell after they became members of the European Union.

I was very sad to hear that workers were protesting against EU workers.

I worked for four years in London. My impression was that some British people were just lazy and living on benefits or from credit. Now that the financial crisis is here and the credit is over, they say foreigners are stealing their jobs.

I paid taxes and I am proud that I helped your country, but to blame foreigners when you were spending in the pubs, what's going on with you.

The British economy is dead, ask Gordon Brown how not to live on credit.

ELZBIETA, ACCOUNTS MANAGER, 29, POLISH IN LUTON, UK

Elzbieta

I am a Polish worker in the UK and I am not surprised by these people's reaction.

I am about to leave my current job because of a pay cut and it has been very difficult to find work.

I have been looking for four months, but I haven't had a single interview.

I do understand their point of view, but this is not the foreigners' fault, they have to look at the big picture, there is a financial crisis.

They want to blame someone for unemployment, so why not blame foreigners.

We immigrants don't come here to ask for benefits, we come to work. When I first came, it was very difficult to get a job because I had no experience in the UK.

So I started in the warehouse and then got my job.

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SEE ALSO
Q&A: What is the dispute about?
30 Jan 09 |  Business
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Energy protest grows in Scotland
30 Jan 09 |  Tayside and Central
NI energy workers support strike
30 Jan 09 |  Northern Ireland
Refinery picketed for third day
30 Jan 09 |  Humber

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