Over the last six weeks or so some 300 Britons who were working on the Royal Navy's two new carriers have been sacked to make way for cheaper Polish workers it has been claimed.

According to a Mail Online report this is happening because a Polish worker costs $9.50 an hour compared to a British worker's £15.

Some workers received a text message at the end of a shift telling them to contact their head office and on doing so were given just one week's notice.

The sheer size of the task of building the two new carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales is so large that the builders had to trawl far and wide to get personnel with the requisite skills to do the job. Many of them came from Poland.

According to the report insiders are saying that this is a cost cutting drive and that BAE is planning a big recruitment drive in Poland to get hold of more cheap labour.

The report also says that only British welders, draughtsmen and platers hired by Matchtech had been let go, whereas Polish workers hired by another firm Inter Marine had been kept on.

Many would argue that thus us sensible, reducing the cost of building the carriers, one of which was forced on us by the last government signing very unfavourable cancellation terms. But one wonders how much of the saving will be seen by the MOD compared to the saving made by the shipbuilding companies involved.

If the saving is felt at the MOD it may well be at the greater expense to the social security budget as laid off British shipbuilders turn to the state for help. If it is the companies that see the saving they will be doing so at the taxpayers' expense. Either way on the face of it this does not seem right.

On the more legal tack surely this flies in the face of EU legislation, or at least the spirit of it. Also, remember that it is not workers that get made redundant, it is the jobs that get made redundant. by firing one worker to fill the same post (or nearly identical one) with another purely on a wage bull basis is once again legally dubious under employment law surely?

How long before we outsource the entire process to foreign shipyards in places like India or China with just a few token Brits to oversee the thing and hang the security implications. Or maybe we will be forced to keep this within the EU household.

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