Letters, Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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Have your say

Time to look after our own workers

IS Meg Crosby (Leaving EU would not be good for us, November 22) really so naive to actually think that Nissan would up sticks and leave Britain, should the British people vote to leave the EU?

 Nissan is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world and will always have a large selling slice of any pie, obtained via EU or not. The boss of Nissan, along with people and institutions she mentions (British Retail Consortium, the CBI, the Federation Of Small Businesses), all have a vested interest in supporting David Cameron’s desire to keep us in Europe.

 Mr Cameron has stopped talking about a ‘new deal’ for Britain from the EU. His desire to obtain the right to hire and fire at will without recourse is suddenly not worth mentioning to a public that is increasingly frustrated that its jobs and services are taken up by foreign nationals.

 I’ve been a Labour supporter all my life, but feel Nigel Farage is correct when he says it’s time to look after our own.

 Mr Cameron, and the organisations Meg Crosby mentions, would happily give the impression that the unemployed of this country, particularly the young, don’t want the jobs on offer – utter rubbish (97 per cent of unemployed are actively seeking employment – Works And Pensions Department).

 The sad fact is that the organisations mentioned prefer foreign nationals because they are often prepared to work for less and are less likely to mention any shortcomings in conditions and health and safety.

 They don’t put a strain on our benefit system because they are all at work.

 I find it shameful that we are so eager to stigmatise and criticise our own as lazy and workshy, when David Cameron and the organisations he panders to refuse to acknowledge that they are the biggest obstacle in the way back to employment.

 It’s not so long ago that British industry asked the British public to buy British goods – maybe it’s time British industry made a commitment to employ British citizens.

 I feel that for the sake of today’s youth, the time has come to look after our own.

Bryan Hubbard,

Washington

Avoid a disaster

I AM growing increasingly concerned about the level of misleading information coming from UKIP regarding Nissan.

 It is clear to me that Messers Farage, Elvin and Gillon etc either know nothing about the motor industry or care nothing about the North-East economy.

 Having had 20 years’ experience at a local and European management level at Nissan, I have a huge amount of sympathy for my former colleagues, who I know will be desperately fighting to secure the production of the future models in Sunderland.

 The recent increase in Nissan’s UK production is a result of decisions taken three or four years ago, long before Mr Cameron was promising a referendum.

 It takes years after investment decisions are made to source the parts, prepare the supplier base, sort out the logistics, prepare the plant, carry out trial vehicle builds, hire staff etc. So my first concern is for the decisions being made now which will impact upon jobs in three or four years’ time.

 The proposed referendum provides a huge black mark against Sunderland and a huge boost to the case to the management of alternative production plants.

 The vast majority of Nissan’s production is for the European market so the Nissan and its alliance partner, Renault plants in Europe have an advantage because there is no uncertainty about trade between EU partners.

  Car plants in India and China also have a strong case as they are cheaper.

 If the unthinkable happened and the UK was to leave the EU at a time when the case for Nissan production at alternative production plants strengthens then this would be an economic disaster for the North East.

 The UKIP argument that if Nissan don’t build cars here, someone else will because of the quality of our people is ridiculous.

 The UKIP argument that foreigners will never be as good as us is silly. We should have learned from the way the UK industrial base disintegrated in the post war years as a result of higher quality, lower cost imports that there is no room for smug complacency, certainly when there are over 20,00 jobs in the North East at risk.

Cameron Marshall,

Thistley Wood