Employers don't want UK labour. They want migrant Labour because its on offer and cheap. Its a deliberate strategy by the capitalists and the government to bring jobs down to the lowest pay possible so that white workers who over the last 50 years have fought and won good working conditions will have eventually no choice but to take the crap. Meanwhile employers make and will continue to make huge profits.
Labour Party and TGWU activist Ian at IansRedBlog.
As an ex-TGWU man myself, I don't think it's a deliberate capitalist strategy. It's just capital, as it will, taking advantage. That's what capitalism's about - finding new ways to do things that can make more profit.
Usually, that's beneficial. Our capitalist builds a better mousetrap and people beat a path to his door. He makes lots of dosh, we get better mousetraps and everyone's happy except the mice (and maybe a few cats rendered redundant by technology).
But we don't make mousetraps in the UK any more - they're made in China, where, confounding the hi-tech/hi-wage example of the previous 200 years, industry is hi-tech, low wage (although that may be a high wage in Chinese terms). The hi-wage UK is left with a people-intensive "service sector" in which the costs of the people increase faster than the cost of goods, because human productivity, say in hairdressing or nursing, cannot by the nature of the work increase as fast as industrial productivity.
But cheap world transport - and change in British culture - changes all that. Eamonn Butler's Adam Smith Primer tells us :
The workers’ best friends, Smith surmises, are rising national income and capital growth, because they bid up wages. A landlord with surplus revenue will hire more servants. A weaver or a shoemaker with surplus capital will hire assistants. In other words, the demand for labour rises when – and only when – national wealth rises. The ‘liberal reward of labour’ depends entirely on economic growth.
That scenario supposes a fixed (in the short term, anyway) supply of labour. What if our landlord, weaver or shoemaker could import an almost unlimited number of low-paid servants and assistants ? What if, on top of that, their low pay was topped up by government through a tax credit system - a system originally designed to take low-paid Britons out of poverty ?
If the wages are low enough there's no reason why even in a system of economic stasis or recession our landlord shouldn't hire more servants. There's also nothing to stop him sacking the servants he has and replacing them more cheaply from the almost unlimited pool of new labour.
What was stopping it in Adam Smith's day was the cost of transport, the absence of a government pledged to abolish child poverty (aka "subsidise an employers low wages from tax receipts") and the fact that the locals just wouldn't wear it. A load of foreigners coming in and taking our jobs ? No way !
Now transport's cheap, there's that lovely subsidy, and above all the moral and political objections to undercutting "our own people" (a phrase which immediately brands the utterer with the indelible scar of racism) have been totally marginalised and discredited. The trades unions, which instinctively understood the objections to cheap 'scab' (non-unionised) labour, now welcome the undercutting of an entire working class.
A good capitalist will naturally take advantage of this situation. No conspiracy necessary.