Graham Charles Lear
3 min readSep 12, 2017

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So James O’Brien thinks he has torn apart the argument that immigrants are lowering wages with one piece of evidence. He has done no such thing as he cant

Here is a story that all people who work in the building trade will be familiar with. 20 years ago when the Polish fraternity started to come to Britian to work I was working with a Sparky a well qualified one who had spent all his life as an Electrician. He was what we call, at the top of his game well paid and very very good at his job. His pay at the time was a mind boggling £25 an hour quite a lot of money 20 years ago until you realize that every two years he had to take time off work and up grade his qualifications in an ever changing working environment. He had to take at least three upgrades costing him around £1,000 a time, and he had to do that in his own time along with studying to pass the stringent exams which if he did not pass would see him not working in his vocation. Each exam took four days to complete again losing him money not to mention the time he had to study.

So taking all that into consideration £25 an hour was not extortionate.

One day he came into work and quietly took me aside and said I am dammed if I do and I am dammed if I dont. Why I asked, because the agency that I get my work from who I have worked for the last twenty years have cut my hourly rate too £14 an hour as they can get Polish ones for that amount.

I have to work I have a Mortgage and all the usual so I have to take this pay cut as I have got in touch with quite a few Work Agency's and that now is the going rate.

At the end of the contract the work of the Electricians had to be signed of by a electrician who had the right qualifications. The Polish Foreman who had somehow wheedled his way into that position had to ask him to sign off on the safety of the work as the Polish foreman did not have the qualification to sign off the work.

And their lay the problem the immigrant workers may have basic qualifications in the building industry. They do not have the higher qualifications and cant get those high qualifications because they are not being payed enough.

Since 20 years ago wage rates have dropped even more because even more EU migrants from other countrys are coming in and undercutting the Polish ones

These trades might have experienced a 10 per cent pay rise in the last 12 months. And their could be a couple Electricians on £ 156,000 a year there wont be many I can assure you and those that are will be employing people and taking a cut of the wage. and they will be in the London area. Everywhere else is rather different.

So James O’Brien do try and get your facts right and as for your ludicrous evidence you have not even scratched the surface to see the real evidence. You are actualy just a novice in this Journalistic lark. So do try harder to become a real one until then we will treat you with the disdain you deserve.

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.