The following article posted on ‘The Mail on Line’ website has been brought to our attention.
Please be assured that The workers of England Union campaigns for Local Job for Local People. This is because we believe the priority use of local skills where appropriate should be used first.
If you take London for example, did you know that over 300,000 Londoners are unemployed and 700,000 Londoners earn less than the living wage?
The Workers of England Union hopes that you agree that work needs to be prioritised for these 300,000 Londoners first and the wages of these 700,000 Londoners who earn less than the Living wage should be increased.
The WEU believes that all companies which want contracts with local Government should be forced to recruit from local communities first and should not exploit foreign workers to bring down local wages.
Higher wages are urgently needed for Londoners and workers aross England in general, if you know of any foreign workers being exploited or any local person being refused employment by an employer please let us know about
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British bus driver ‘is refused a job interview for Arriva in Watford because he’s not ROMANIAN’ as the company is accused of exploiting foreign staff by providing them with cramped living conditions
- Peter Kennedy, 45, of Lincolnshire is a fully qualified bus driver
- Arriva advert read ‘EU bus drivers wanted’ for Watford-based job
- The married man had a job interview arranged but it was cancelled
- Manager said scheme ‘set up for Romanians had filled Watford jobs’
Published: 10:21, 12 August 2016 | Updated: 07:38, 14 August 2016
Fully qualified bus driver Peter Kennedy, 45, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, applied for a job with Arriva
A British bus driver who applied for a job in Hertfordshire with a transport firm claims he was refused an interview because he is not Romanian.
Fully qualified bus driver Peter Kennedy, 45, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, applied for a job with Arriva after seeing an advert saying ‘EU bus drivers wanted.’
The married man, who works for a delivery firm on a zero-hours contract, was prepared to move 150 miles south from his home to Watford.
Separately today, the company was also accused of exploiting its Romanian drivers by providing them with cramped living conditions.
Mr Kennedy had been invited for an interview – but the day before this was due to take place, he received an email from the bus firm to tell him their recruitment drive was only for Romanians.
‘I’ve been looking for a job driving for ages, so was delighted when I saw the advert,’ he said.
‘I was all set for the interview when they told me all the posts had been filled by Romanian drivers. It’s totally wrong if British workers aren’t able to apply for jobs in this country.’
According to Mr Kennedy, the Arriva job advert said they were seeking 30 drivers to work 38 hours a week in Watford and accommodation would also be provided.
He said it required a category D driving licence, you had to be an European Union citizen, have one year’s experience and be able to speak English.
There was also other requirements to clear police and medical checks.
Applications: The job advert for Arriva said they were looking for ‘EU bus drivers’ (file photo)
On the buses: Arriva’s recruitment policy has angered Mr Kennedy who believes the firm made up their minds before publishing the advert (file picture)
But Mr Kennedy then received an email from a member of staff at recruitment agency Skills Provision on August 2 titled ‘The British Bus Driver’, which told him the interview was cancelled.
In the email, a response from an Arriva general manager for London was copied, and it read: ‘The programme we have set up for the Romanians fills my requirement here at Watford.’
Arriva’s recruitment policy has angered Mr Kennedy who believes the firm made up their minds before publishing the advert.
He said: ‘Honest workers like me aren’t even getting a chance.’
Honest workers like me aren’t even getting a chance
An Arriva spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘Arriva provides thousands of bus journeys every day to passengers across the UK.
‘We look for the best candidates from the UK and, from time to time, overseas, to provide these essential services.
‘We are proud to have an extremely diverse workforce and we welcome applications from anyone who is interested in a career with us, and who can demonstrate the right skills for the job.
‘Any candidates from overseas have to meet the same selection criteria as those of British residency, and they receive the same levels of pay and terms and conditions of employment.’
Arriva is accused of exploiting its Romanian drivers by ‘providing them with cramped living conditions’
One of Britain’s biggest bus companies was today accused of exploiting its Romanian drivers by providing them with cramped living conditions.
Carmen Stroe, 52, from Galati in Romania, said she paid Arriva £100 a week to live in a tiny three-bed house where she had to share a toilet with six other people.
The former driver said there were two people to each bedroom and one person sleeping on the sofa in the communal area.
Unimpressed: Carmen Stroe, 52, from Galati in Romania, said she paid Arriva £100 a week to live in a tiny three-bed house where she had to share a toilet with six other people
They were also forced to share one bathroom and 5kg washing machine between them.
She said: ‘We have one bathroom between seven of us so the mornings can be difficult. I was so happy to come here – I wanted to know about England.
‘I love it here, and I love the people. I feel like Arriva did not give me a chance.’
Ms Stroe was one of 17 Romanian immigrants who got a job working for Arriva busses and was shipped to the UK through an agency.
Before arriving she had a Skype interview where she claims Arriva told her she would have to learn just one bus route.
But on arrival she claims she was expected to drive all 11 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
Many off the drivers spoke very little English and who would often have to ask bus passengers for directions, she said.
Ms Stroe, a driver with seven years’ experience in her native country, was let go last week after failing her probation period and has since returned to work in Romania.
The former driver said there were two people to each bedroom and one person sleeping on the sofa in the communal area (file picture)
The grandmother, who has a 25-year-old daughter and a five-year-old granddaughter living in Romania, said: ‘I am very sad.
‘I came here to make a better life for my family and I don’t want to go home. But I have had a bad experience and I am worried that it might happen to someone else.’
Arriva, which employs more than 30,000 staff across Europe and operates hundreds of routes in the UK, denies the claim.
They say they would not employ drivers without knowledge of the language, and that they in fact subsidise the Romanian drivers’ living costs.
A spokesman said: ‘The £100 per week is absolutely correct but we hire houses through a property agent who covers the legal aspects on our behalf.
‘The cost of housing our Romanian colleagues is in excess of £2,500 per month since we pay for all utilities including wi-fi, beds and bed linen, council tax.
‘The only thing we do not pay for is food. This house therefore paid £2,400 per month since there were six people in total, but we pay a minimum of £2,500 for everything to keep the house for a minimum of six months – this obviously varies according to the use of utilities.
‘We do not sub-let – we just take a contribution towards the total which also helps show commitment to us on the drivers’ behalf. The vast majority are happy with this especially against the cost of renting privately themselves.’
Speaking about her dismissal, a spokesman said: ‘Ms Stroe started on probation initially, as we do with all new drivers, which means that during this period we train, acclimatise and assess our new recruits.
‘In Ms Stroe’s case she did come to the depot to take part in the acclimatisation training but did not attend the classes, meaning that she could not pass the test that we perform on route knowledge etc, potentially putting our customers at risk. She was making no progress as a result, essentially.’
Speaking of the Skype interview they said: ‘This was never the case – all our initial conversations on Skype were to some extent scripted.
‘It was made clear that they would be trained for multiple routes and a good level of English was therefore required.
‘We made it clear that there were a number of routes that we needed drivers to know.’