Monday, 29 November 2010

British shipbuilders axed because Poles are 30% cheaper

Hundreds of Britons who were building two aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy have lost their jobs because they were not as cheap as Polish workers, it was claimed last night.

In the past six weeks, around 300 Britons working on the £5.2billion warships have been sacked, but none of the cut-price Poles has been laid off. They earn around £9.50 an hour while UK tradesmen doing similar jobs are paid £15 an hour.

Some of the British workers were told they were being made redundant after receiving a text message at the end of their shift at BAE Systems’ dockyard in Portsmouth.

The defence giant is part of a consortium building the 65,000-ton vessels, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The first is due to launch in 2016.

Only British welders, draughtsmen and platers hired by Matchtech had been given their marching orders. Forty-two of them were laid off last Tuesday.

Another subcontractor, Inter Marine, which supplies around 120 Polish workers to the shipyard and pays them one-third less than British tradesmen, has not been told to lay anyone off.


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