Thousands of Polish workers to take part in the first ever migrant workers strike in Britain

by Jonathan Owen

The Independent


Thousands of Polish people working in Britain are expected to take part in the first ever migrant workers strike in this country later this month. The protest, planned for Thursday 20th August, is the result of discussions on Polish internet forums by people angry at immigrants being blamed for Britain’s economic problems.

And the unofficial strike, which does not involve any trade unions, is being backed by the Polish Express newspaper which has created a Facebook group to promote the event. A red t-shirt produced for the protest states: “Enough! Stop blaming us.”

The suggestion of a strike came from one of their readers, claimed Tomasz Kowalski, editor, Polish Express. “It’s just a way to show people in the UK that immigrants are an important part of Britain. We want to make the point that we are here and that we want to feel appreciated,” he said.

At more than 680,000 people, the Polish community is one of the biggest in Britain. Around half a million Polish workers are relied upon in areas such as construction, healthcare and catering.

Threats to strike come amid a Government crackdown against illegal immigrants, prompted by repeated attempts by migrants seeking to cross the English Channel from Calais in recent week.

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