|Copied from Rock Against The Right's Facebook page|
In particular, among a whole swathe of proposals designed to appeal to the large xenophobic element in her audience, she floated the idea of forcing companies to reveal what proportion of their workforces are migrants. At a time when hate crimes are on the increase after the EU vote, it seems irresponsible to give the bigots more ammunition. I'd say there's a good chance that 'named and shamed' companies would face a racist backlash, a reaction that would rapidly extend from the company to the workers themselves. They might as well put signs outside proclaiming: "Here be foreigners!"
I can see no point in this idea, except to try to foment consumer boycotts which, if they gain enough support, may close businesses down and put people out of work - not forgetting the loss of provision of goods and services to us. Less drastically, employers may reduce their workforces to shed migrant workers, or not expand if that growth could only be achieved using migrant staff. This interference in an employer's right to choose the people he or she sees as most suitable will benefit neither the business concerned or the country as a whole. Young white males who drift into ultra-right politics, blaming foreigners for taking 'their' jobs, should have got their finger out at school, instead of dismissing it all as rubbish, failing, and then becoming angry when potential employers pick others who worked hard to make themselves more employable.
The UK's hospitality industry relies on migrant workers, who make up an estimated 24% of the workforce. The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has said: "Pubs, bars and restaurants do not actively recruit abroad seeking foreign workers; they recruit locally and it is unfair to imply that businesses are failing to support the UK workforce or failing in their duty to provide opportunities or training."
To give an example: according to the People 1st, a skills and workforce development organisation, the British hospitality industry will have to recruit 11,000 chefs in the next eight years. With colleges reporting a decline in applications for full-time chef courses, employers will have no option but to look elsewhere for staff. What does anyone gain from such employers publishing the proportion of migrant workers they employ?
Let's hope this pointless proposal does not make it beyond the conference rostrum, but if it does, it will over the years cause difficulties for all areas of the hospitality industry without any discernible gains for those of us who use it, or indeed for the country generally.
There's a petition on this subject asking Ms Rudd to abandon this ill-considered idea.