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Future Fears
Dinosaur Wrote:... and British archaeology, along with everything else that can't be moved abroad, is gradually being taken over by foreign labour!

As a 'foreign' labourer who has worked in in many 'foreign' lands and counts many 'foreign' workers amongst my finest friends, best ever colleagues and trusted confidants, I can't help but feel that BAJR is a better place if it resists the rhetoric of the Daily Mail or worse....:face-rain:
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Quote:along with everything else that can't be moved abroad, is gradually being taken over by foreign labour!

I for one find that dubious and offensive. I agree with Kevin in what he says... Daily Mail comments are not welcome ... apology required. Even if it is a joke. (Count this as a friendly warning)
Think the 'Daily Mail' tag is a bit extreme....

Tis true anyway (it's only the last few years I've been working with lots of Central/Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians, really good crew and good workers), but you can have an apology if want one.
I grovelling abase myself and beg for yours and every other reader's forgiveness :face-crying:
If only it was heartfelt...

Can I remind you that as we are part of the EU... then these central and Eastern Euro archaeologists are quite entitled to come to north west europe as well. Like Kevin and many others, I have worked in other countries, and have worked with people from other countries. I would have loved to have been told while in Germany or Jordan, Iraq or Iran... you are very good worker David... but you are foreigner... we see you as an incomer taking our jobs...etc...

Think about it. apologies should be genuine. We value the values that BAJR stands for watch this.

BAJR Wrote:If only it was heartfelt...

Can't actually find anything racist, xenophobic etc on my original post, merely pointing out that 'British' (of whatever ethnicity/creed/place of birth) diggers are in danger of pricing themselves out of the market in much the same way as e.g. Newcastle minicab drivers, surprisingly few of whom now have Geordie accents, and how low are the wages doing that? If anyone other than yourself had taken exception to what I wrote, and there have been plenty of viewers on that thread, there are plenty of people who post on here who would have been straight in to give it a good kicking..... Actually most of the guys from other parts of the EU (and EFTA) that I've been working with have been really good (worryingly so from a 'British' digger's perspective) and they certainly know how to have fun.

You wanted a sincere apology, I'll apologise sincerely when there's actually something valid to apologise for?
I actually don't think you are a racist... don't remember anyone calling you that... or even a xenophobe.. however, your tone and stirring merited a gentle warning. I know you are just trying to wind me up, but remember you are a guest and I like to be a polite host. fair enough?
Fair enough, although I am trying to make valid points, as Austin seems to have figured out, and would prefer there was some slightly more constructive discussion, even if we collectively ultimately decide that I'm in the wrong. The fact that other EU citizens can now work here is a major issue in an already more-than-saturated archaeological employment market, the home-grown diggers are going to have to significantly re-think how they do the job over the next few years if they still want to compete for all-too-few jobs with an increasingly large number of potential diggers. Demanding more money and less hours may, or may not, be harming their long-term prospects? Would welcome a little more discussion and a bit less rosey-eyed 'ooh, you can't say that' - it is an issue and could affect all of us. Not just diggers. There's currently absolutely nothing to prevent overseas consultants from coming in, putting in lots of stupidly low tenders, and undercutting, eg. yourself and putting you out of business overnight.....

Apologies to whoever it was who tried to send me a personal message, my pop-up blocker annoyingly did exactly what it said on the tin, if I can figure out how to retrieve your message I'll get back to you :face-crying:
i wish I could take this seriously... hmmm... lets see.... ah... it is UK firms going into Europe.. and beyond.. better get rid of johnny Englander out of Europe as well.. and Kevin and the rest of you BRits out there in non UK land... get out... you are spoiling it for the local.
The reason there is no debate... is because... duh... there is no debate. ! I am dumbstruck... truely!
I would like to repeat Austins "thanks" - for a while i thought 'maybe its not so bad'....but NOW I remember!

Dinosaur is 'right' - this might be a European Issue - that means we need Even More Solidarity with European Workers, who surely must at some point be exploited, if they can undercut low paid UK workers...

(anyone hear Camerons weak debate on europe just now?)

Problems with Undercutting are already an internal UK problem...Europe makes the pool bigger...strong Unions and Regulatory Bodies are the way forward for All workers and All archaeology...membership and harmonisation must be the way forward...not Reactionary Apathy.

Dino' is also 'right' about the willingness of workers to work that is paid too low because they have no other option (if they want money anyway) - at least, its an important and real situation that should be pointed is at the very heart of Limits To Progression for the profession, and is the very essence of why archaeological workers need Collective Organisation and Negotiating Power - the diggers charter would aim to harmonise different Unions and Professional organisations towards this end, and make the powers of Regulating Bodies more effective in protecting both the archaeologist and the archaeology.

I am heartily glad that majority of members here have realised this.
As it was me that 'provoked' the original criticism of Dinosaur's 'foreign workers' comment, I am more than happy to engage in 'a little more discussion' on the subject. And until Dinosaur has the opportunity to answer back, I will try and stick to the wider issue....(so these are merely my views and not a 'personal attack' thing and of course David I am happy for yourself or Oz to moderate anything you feel is out of order in my reply ...)

Dinosaur states 'The fact that other EU citizens can now work here is a major issue in an already more-than-saturated archaeological employment market, the home-grown diggers are going to have to significantly re-think how they do the job over the next few years if they still want to compete for all-too-few jobs with an increasingly large number of potential diggers'.

Other EU citizens have had the right to freely work in the UK since 1973 and EAA citizens since 1994. I don't see therefore that the 'right-to- work' is a particularly new issue. It might be an issue that people disagree with, but in my estimation there have been 9 general elections and one referendum since 1973 in which British people have consistently voted to retain the status quo regarding the EU. As a result of the last admission of countries to the EU, the UK archaeological job market now stretches from the Black Sea to Galway to Rekyavik and from the Arctic circle to the Med. To argue that British workers have an exclusive right to one small part of that vast area makes no more sense than arguing that only archaeologists born within the sound of Bow Bells have a right to work in London. I agree that if any UK archaeologist is unaware of the scope of the current UK job market, they do indeed need to 'significantly rethink' how they go about their job.

If you are saying Dinosaur that there are lots of archaeologists out there in the EU job zone going for a small number of jobs then you are quite right. This situation applies in that small area of the wider job market called Iceland, called Sweden, called Poland, called Norway, called Ireland, called Portugal, called Greece etc etc. It isn't a specific UK problem it is a EU wide problem. Where I think we might be at odds is that I believe the way to address the problem isn't for workers from different areas of the EU/EAA to compete, but the way forward is through co-operation.

I kinda like the phrase 'Home-grown diggers' sounds like something you might pluck from an alottment. But does it mean anything in reality? If you attend a UK school or college or university does that give you any greater ability, sense of purpose or set of skills to address the problems of archaeology in a Europe wide job zone. Not so sure. I have yet to hear of a UK university for example that insists at the end of the day that its archaeology graduates should be bilingual in any 2 of the EU 23 official languages. (Unlike many non-UK universities where that is actually an entrance requirement!!). That seems to me to be a real home grown skill that might benefit a wider job market. And skills acquired on the ground? Learning to dig the 'British' way (with an emphasis on the role of the archaeologist as 'remediator') is often not a skill that appeals much to the majority of EU based archaeological organisations.

Of course there will always be archaeologists who want to work close to a fixed base and nothing wrong with that. And with an archaeological job market covering such a vast area that will always be possible, but I am not sure how the right to a job close to home can be protected within the right to free movement of labour. And as the EU has decided to enshrine one principal rather than the other, why should workers be criticised for exercising their legal right?

As to the question of 'overseas' consultants. What does that mean? Are you denying the right of archaeologists to work where ever they want within the EU because they title themself 'consultant'? What would make a French or Finnish archaeological consultant any less conscientious than a UK one? Nothing that I can obviously see. I have worked on archaeological projects in the UK with non-UK based developers, non-UK based construction companies and non-UK based consultants. I have never noticed a significant difference in attitude or conditions to those of 'home-grown' agents. I have also worked on projects outside of the UK with non-UK based and UK based 'agents' where conditions have been both better and worse than in the UK. It seems to me that there is no significant evidence that the nationality of agents or consultants makes the slightest difference to archaeological conditions.

My view is that it’s not Poles or Swedes or Romanian (etc etc) archaeologists who are to blame for the attacks on working conditions in UK archaeology. Every non-British archaeologist I have ever met on a UK excavation has told me that conditions in their own country are no better than conditions in the UK. Archaeologists working in the UK need to fight for their jobs, need to organize to improve basic terms and conditions of employment. They should fight against attempts to cut wages and to worsen working conditions. All archaeologists are entitled to receive a dignity wage irrespective of where they were born or brought up. As I said previously archaeologists should be co-operating to fight the system and not competing for ever more meagre returns

Headlines such as 'British jobs for British Workers' in the mainstream press and as a slogan spouted from the lips of Gordon Brown and some right wing union leaders are not prompted by 'road to Damascus' overnight conversions by such people suddenly realising the legitimate grievances of the labouring class. Precisely the opposite. At the worst it is the agenda of the right in controlling the proleteriat through divide and rule. The question always needs to be asked 'Who benefits from a divided working class?' In my opinion certainly not the workers!!. In the case of the Labour Party and trade unions, short term political popularity seems gross when the flipside is encouraging the fears that push the electorate towards the lunatic fringe currently occupied by the likes of the BNP and UKIP.

I think promotion of the idea that it’s 'foreigners' or any kind of outsider who are to blame for problems in our industry is the beginning of the slippery slope on the rocky road etc etc. Today it might be the foreign worker. Tomorrow it might be people who don't share the same gender, sexuality, colour of skin or religious belief, second, third generation children of immigrants or people who favour alternative life styles. And this is a real problem. Where I live in East Anglia there have been attacks against the homes, businesses and bodies of non-British workers apparently prompted by the misguided view that jobs are being stolen from 'British' workers. And whichever way you look at it, arguing for 'British jobs for British workers' will lay anyone open to the accusation that they tacitly support the propagation of views that encourage racism. And that is something that I am sure no-one associated with BAJR would ever want to be guilty of.

My answer. Strong unions, strong workers. Identifying the causes that unite us, fighting together for common goals, celebrating our shared diversity and unity as archaeologists. Ignoring accidents of birth.... I am so looking forward to the day when I can apply for my 'European' rather than 'UK' passport. Smile
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...

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