Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 11:27 UK

Workers protest over Olympic jobs

Protesters at the Olympic site in east London
People from various parts of the country are attending the protest

Workers have protested at the Olympic stadium site demanding more British employees should be given jobs in its construction.

The GMB and Unite union members a callied for workers to be employed directly not through job agencies.

Up to 400 protesters demonstrated at the site in Stratford, east London.

Workers from sites across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire are due to attend. Olympics bosses said up to 70% of workers are British or Irish.

Staff from the Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolnshire, which was the scene of protests earlier this year over the use of foreign workers, had taken part in the demonstration.

The government is spending millions of pounds on apprentices but what for? Where are they going to go?
Phil Willis, Unite

Keith Gibson, from the GMB union, said: "The protest is about the EU legislation regards to social dumping of European workers throughout Europe in different parts of the country.

"They are not obeying the pay and conditions that the agreements will work under."

After the protest the workers went on to lobby MPs in parliament, to discuss the Posted Workers Directive and "the blacklisting that is operating in our industry".

Phil Willis, from Unite, said if too many non-British workers were brought in to work on the Olympic site it would have a knock-on effect on future generations.

"The more skilled labour they bring in it's going to deny our apprentices because they won't need them," he said.

Workers protest over Olympic jobs

"The government is spending millions of pounds on apprentices, but what for? Where are they going to go?"

The Olympic Delivery Authority said it had been advertising jobs first in local job centres.

An ODA spokesperson said: "We are providing jobs and training at a difficult time for the economy, exceeding our targets on the employment of local people.

"We work closely with the UK Borders Agency to ensure all those working on site are legally entitled to do so.

"There are high levels of direct employment on the Olympic Park and we have a positive agreement with the unions representing construction workers on site which includes national wage rates."

He stressed that the protesters were not workers who work on the Olympic site.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are also attending.

The EU Posted Workers Directive allows a European company to employ its own staff on a temporary projects in another EU member state as long as it's for a limited time and the company abides by local working conditions.



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