The present industrial action in England, wild strikes by people who claim British jobs for British people has been received by not a few Usacos as something that can bring down the EU.

Sure, because they treat their blue collar workers very well over there.

NO CHANCE OF DISSOLUTION OF THE EU OVER THAT. The EU is called ‘La Europa de los Mercaderes‘ in intellectual circles. No chance of a breakup over industrial disputes.

That said, the British workers have some reason in their complaint. They have made the owners of that refinery very rich, now they see their livelihood threatened. So what if they hire workers from the neighborhood, no big deal.
On the other hand (as Truman famously said of the economists: «Bring me an economist who has just one hand!») one of the workers said, «So what if the Italians do it better, and faster? British jobs for British workers.» That is part of the problem, that the British workers are the laziest in Europe, they put two hours work, get paid eight hours and that’s why the contractors, who know this very well, try to get other people.

The Italian workers brought to Lindsey, Lincolnshire, when all expenses are taken into account, are MORE expensive than the British workers.  It is that the company wants the job done well, and done on time, ungrateful rich people that they are.

Let me tell you a personal experience.
Some years ago I used to go to Oxford every Monday. They were changing the pavement of Cornmarket St -it is three blocks long, 300 yards or 300 meters, say.  I’m not a brickie, I couldn’t care less what they were doing, but one Monday I noticed that the street was the same as it had been one month before.

And so it was, week after week, after week. It took them one year to change the pavement of Cornmarket St, just three blocks, and it is the shoddiest work I’ve seen in my life. It was seeing them (not) working, drinking tea with biscuits! chatting in groups of four or five, not one with tools in their hands, taking money from the ATM machines, chatting up the girls, etc.
A Spanish crew would have finished the job in less than a month and do it a lot better.

Here’s a foto of Cornmarket St., with the new funny looking benches. Half of the bench is designed to sit on (but it is unconfortable, so that you won’t sit for too long, and you can’t lie down to sleep: there are many homeless in Oxford) the other half made to lean on to, as so many young people like to do.

On the other hand (there’s that again) the Spanish brickies destroy their bodies working too hard, too many hours. The Brits have this Wonderful Invention, the Brick Hod carrier. It is a contraption with three sides, a handle and it carries 3-4 bricks.

Ese Brick Hod es el modelo actual, de plástico o metal liviano, pocos ladrillos y para los trabajadores actuales británicos.  Pero no hace tantos años, cuando los que curraban eran los robustos, laboriosos y despreciados irlandeses, el Brick Hod era bastante más grande y muy reforzado para tanto ladrillo que llevaban a hombros.

The Spanish brickie carries a bucket filled with bricks in each hand, his arms get so long he can scratch his knees, and his spine gets busted so he applies for early retirement on medical grounds.

I think the Brits, after all, have the right idea: work is tiring and unhealthty, try to do as little of it as possible.

Por Armando

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