On The Daily Express’ Xenophobia, Jani-King, Racism And Anti-Immigration Henry Smith MP
So declares the Daily Express‘ front-page headline.
Giles Sheldrick has news:
TWO workers were sacked simply for being British, an MP claimed yesterday.
Claimed? Claimed is front-page news.
The explosive allegation made during a Parliamentary debate reopened the row over the rights of British employees being undermined by migrant workers.
Does it? Isn’t it just an unproven story that two Britons have been sacked from a cleaning company because of discrimination?
Conservative MP Henry Smith stunned the Commons when he claimed UK-based cleaning company Jani-King fired two of his female constituents simply because they were from Britain. Last night it was claimed the company labelled British workers work-shy and expensive and pursued a policy of employing people from Eastern Europe because they were cheaper and worked harder.
This tosses up a few questions:. The company employed at least two British workers, and the claim is that the same company then said all British workers are rubbish and the inferior to Eastern European works? The company wants to be efficient and do the best job possible? Workers are called “constituents”?
One of the women, grandmother Stella Judge, claims she was sacked after just two months in her £6.50- an-hour job as head housekeeper at the Travelodge in Gatwick because she refused to falsify employees’ timesheets.
Her neighbour, Sarah Pritchard, says she was made redundant from her £6-an-hour supervisor position at the hotel after the company said it did not have the money to keep her on – but days later her position was given to a Bulgarian.
Is that true? What says Jani-King, exmployer of over 1,200 people in the UK:
“Two employees have been dismissed following standard employment procedures. The reasons are unrelated to ethnicity. Jani-King is an equal opportunities employer.”
Ms Judge, 57, of Crawley, West Sussex, says:
“The area manager would say ‘I don’t like British workers because they are lazy’. She would rather employ Eastern European people who were quicker, work more hours for less money and don’t complain. She was constantly saying that if we didn’t watch ourselves we would lose our jobs if we didn’t do what she wanted us to do.”
You may well roll your eyes when the Express says Ms Judge is taking the matter to an industrial tribunal.
“No one kicked up a stink because they were afraid of losing their jobs. I have never been sacked and have worked with all nationalities and I have never had a problem. On the day Iain Duncan Smith said ‘British jobs for British people’ I got the sack.”
In disciplinary letters, she [Judge] was accused of violence, discriminating against other workers on grounds of nationality and language and was told her paperwork was a “shambles”.
So. She was given written warnings.
Yesterday Mr Henry Smith used Parliamentary privilege to name Jani-King.
“Recently I have been dealing with a case on behalf of two constituents who were dismissed from a commercial cleaning firm called Jani-King, allegedly for being British… Most companies will say they are sorry to hear constituents have approached me with a grievance. But in this case I got a nasty letter basically saying it was none of my business. The allegations are quite serious but this case felt different, mainly because of the attitude of the company. This case illustrates a wider issue, that millions of jobs have been created in Britain in the last decade but a large proportion have gone to people who have come from abroad. Potentially, it appears these two women have been discriminated against.”
An allegation or a “quite serious” matter illustrates a “wider issue”? Mr Smith is talking in code.
Jani-King tell us that they keep no records of their staff’s nationality,in keeping with their position as an equal opportunities employer.
While we await their statement, a look at Henry Smith MP reveals his views on immigration:
Time and time again, whether on the door step or through emails and letters I receive, it is clear that Crawley residents have been deeply concerned by the virtually unchecked immigration into the UK under the previous Government and are unsure as to why local employers require workers from overseas when there are people looking for work locally in Crawley….
“By tackling open door immigration, I believe we also help tackle peoples’ fears and therefore deny extreme political parties any further footholds…”
He then links the failing economy with immigration:
“We simply cannot afford a repeat of the unchecked, mass immigration into the UK that we’ve seen over the past decade. Our focus now must be restoring the wellbeing of our national economy and ensuring that those out of work are helped back into work.”
If in doubt, blame the foreigners…
This is revolting stuff from a Tory MP and the Daily Express.
Update: “Jani-King reiterates that it is an equal opportunities employer. It is not right for a business to be at the centre of unfounded allegations. On a further level, no existing tribunal documentation filed against Jani-King supports the claim that race was, or is, a reason for dismissal. Jani-King is pleased that Henry Smith MP has agreed to meet with us so we can clear ourselves of all negative pre-conceptions regarding the dismissals of two of our 1,200+ workforce.”