EU truckers say UK government needs to offer LONGER work permits

EU truckers say UK government needs to offer LONGER work permits
EU truckers say UK government needs to offer LONGER work permits

Foreign lorry drivers say they will refuse the £4,000-a-month pay packet being offered if they return to the UK to drive tankers and trucks unless they are allowed to work in Britain for at least a year.

Jakub Borzykowski, who was born in Poland but lives in Germany, said that Boris Johnson's offer of a three-month visa would not give him or other HGV drivers the security they need to move.

Other EU-based lorry drivers have also said they are turning £2,000-a-month more than they earn now while yesterday a left-wing Dutch HGV union boss said his members won't go to Britain to clear up the 's**t they created themselves' - a nod to the decision to leave the EU.

The Government announced over the weekend that 5,000 temporary visas will be made available to foreign HGV drivers to drive in the UK until Christmas Eve - but even backbench Tories have said it is not the answer, saying that ministers must improve conditions and the 'standing in society' of truckers.

Petrol pumps have run dry and supermarket chains and restaurants have been hit by the shortage of HGV drivers. The Road Haulage Association says it is short of 100,000 drivers and believes around 20,000 have left because of Brexit. Covid has also seen huge numbers return home. 

Mr Borzykowski told ITV News: 'I don’t want to work on a temporary visa because I think of the future. If the government offers a 12-month visa, I could plan for my life, but three months is not an option. I'd collect about £12,000 for three months. What next?'

French HGV driver Samuel Henri said: "When you see what happened with Covid, when people were stuck at border crossings with the UK for days on end - I’ve got no interest in that. I’ve got a family and there’s just too many complications', adding: 'I’m fine to go to Switzerland, to Germany, but the UK? No way'.

Jakub Borzykowski, who was born in Poland but lives in Germany, said that Boris Johnson's offer of a three-month visa would not give him or other HGV drivers the security they need to move

Edwin Atema, Head of enforcement and research at the Dutch-based FNV union, hit out at the idea workers would go back

Jakub Borzykowski, who was born in Poland but lives in Germany, said that Boris Johnson's offer of a three-month visa would not give him or other HGV drivers the security they need to move. Edwin Atema, Head of enforcement and research at the Dutch-based FNV union, dismissed the idea his members would go back

The shortage of drivers saw petrol pumps run dry as motorists panic buy fuel worried that they will not be able to run cars

The shortage of drivers saw petrol pumps run dry as motorists panic buy fuel worried that they will not be able to run cars

Portuguese trucker Rui Rodrigues drives his lorry from Spain to Belgium, and said: 'England isn’t easy. It’s complicated... lots of problems. No parking for trucks'.    

Lorry drivers from the EU are refusing to come to the UK - because they believe problems plaguing the supply chain are Britain's own fault.

Former lorry driver Jim Titheridge, from Canterbury, Kent, said hauiiers were treated as 'lepers of society' so left the industry

Former lorry driver Jim Titheridge, from Canterbury, Kent, said hauiiers were treated as 'lepers of society' so left the industry 

The Government has approved plans to bring in 5,000 foreign HGV operators to deal with the shortage, which has been blamed on a number of factors including the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

But promises of special visas and attractive pay - with some firms offering as much as £78,000 a year - have fallen on deaf ears, with one union boss declaring they 'will not go to the UK for a short term visa to help UK out of the s**t they created themselves'.

And lorry drivers in this country are as equally disillusioned, with one who gave up the job after 30 years, likening they way they are treated 'to being the lepers of society'.

Edwin Atema, Head of enforcement and research at the Dutch-based FNV union, which represents drivers across the EU and Europe said the UK had an enormous battle on its hands to woo foreign drivers back.

He said: 'Pay is an important area but not the only area. People in Europe and across Europe have completely lost trust in this industry.

'Before the coronavirus crisis and Brexit this industry was sick already. Plagued by expectation, by irresponsible multinationals who drag down prices, which ended up with drivers voting with their feet and leaving the industry.

'The EU workers that we speak to will not go to the UK for a short term visa to help UK out of the s**t they created themselves.' 

The shortages have seen chaos on the streets as motorists block them queuing to try and fill their tanks with petrol.

The shortages and painful queues for the pumps are expected to last for the rest of the week but one of Boris Johnson's most senior ministers today insisted that the Army would not be brought in to ease the crisis.

The move to mobilise the army comes after a widespread shortage of truck drivers, which has led to serious supply problems for retailers and restaurants in the past few months, has meant plentiful stocks of fuel have not reached filling stations (pictured: Army tanker in 2000 amid a previous crisis)

The move to mobilise the army comes after a widespread shortage of truck drivers, which has led to serious supply problems for retailers and restaurants in the past few months, has meant plentiful stocks of fuel have not reached filling stations (pictured: Army tanker in 2000 amid a previous crisis)

A driver pulled a knife on a motorist and was then run over in 'Wild West' scenes at the pumps as Britain's fuel crisis shows no sign of abating today as drivers again queued through the

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