This appeal for people to work on farms because of the coronavirus has one major flaw

Farm fruit pickers: there might be a problem with social distancing!

Farming industry leaders are appealing for British people to work on farms, claiming a workforce shortage due to the coronavirus.

This Writer’s first thought was: oh, not because of Brexit, then?

Farms used to take on a lot of seasonal workers from EU countries before Brexit but that opportunity isn’t open to them now, partly because the UK has left the EU and partly because movement between countries has been stopped because of the pandemic.

So now farmers are calling for help, saying the work should appeal to students, jobseekers and anyone who has been laid off work due to the impact of coronavirus.

But how much are they willing to pay?

Certain unscrupulous farmers should not expect to pay native Brits the same pittances they foisted on foreign nationals just because they could.

But most of all – the glaring issue that seems to have gone straight over their heads – there’s this:

Coronavirus demands that we stay away from each other. How are they going to ensure that workers stay safe?

Source: Coronavirus: Urgent appeal for Brits to work on farms – Farmers Weekly

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  1. Justin April 3, 2020 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    if you saw one of the adds which I did it was 9.25 a hour somewhere around Norfolk area ish, caravan nearly 60 pounds a week rent four sharing, overtime available, no doubt this was all mentioned when they were doing there 50 page Brexit document, so they got what they wanted, of you go vote leave people, your caravan awaits, take farage and co with you

    • Justin April 3, 2020 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      and also 4 to a caravan, no distancing rules there, what they gonna do sleep in one man tents

  2. trev April 3, 2020 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    It’s difficult to maintain a safe distance in many jobs, supermarkets for instance, I’ve just witnessed staff in Tesco working closely together, and this morning I was working at the foodbank where the same problem exists. As for working on farms, ok for those who happen to live close to farms or within reasonable travelling distance and have own transport, but for the rest of us it’s simply not possible or feasible to up-sticks and leave your flat to hitchhike hundreds of miles across the country and live in a tent. Besides, who’s going to feed my cats in West Yorkshire whilst I’m in Lincolnshire or Kent? Who’s going to pay my rent and bills? It can’t be done.

  3. Hecuba April 3, 2020 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    ‘Coronavirus demands that we stay away from each other. How are they going to ensure that workers stay safe?’ My immediate thoughts too – how can farmers protect these disposable ‘workers’ from not contracting the virus? After all agricultural work does mean close contact with other workers. But hey all these disposable women and men can be exploited because ‘we are all in it together’ claim the fascist tories. But as usual it’s ‘them and us’ meaning there are innumerable disposable women and men who can be exploited by the fascist tories!

  4. Growing Flame April 3, 2020 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Good points, Mike. A family friend is a farmer who, for underlying health reasons, should really do what he says he should do and stay on his tractor, on his own all day.
    But farming is very hands-on work and with the Spring here and the rush on, what happens when one of the chaps says they need a hand with a bit of machinery so can they all gather round to fix it?
    And, yes, they rely on some very skilled east European workers who now live here with their families. They do far more than just pick fruit and spuds and are more reliable and knowledgeable than many potential English workers.
    And, in fact, maybe to their own surprise, the whole farming family voted against Brexit when they could ,as the full disastrous effect of Brexit slowly dawned.

    • Justin April 4, 2020 at 10:08 am - Reply

      it was common knowledge that the farming crowd were for Brexit, then they did not think where there subsidies come from, where there staff come from, in fact no one really thought about roles that were covered by overseas workers, turning round to a skilled professional such as a doctor or a nurse and saying you can work here for the pleasure of a £1000 pounds, they can pick and choose where they work, now this ill thought out policy has come and hit them, will they do anything about it, maybe at the moment they will, afterwards we be back to the same old tory nastiness, austerity, vindictiveness, lack of respect, if I could believe that tory and the rest would learn a lesson and reform there attitude and show this by action not words then I believe, however I don’t, the lot that voted for this got it, the far right supported this, there your labour market, the right wing racists marching up and down, causing aggro, don’t see to many of them opening there gobs now, your farage and co, good fruit picking material, it is what they wanted, of they go, a caravan for 3 months, ask tim martin, he could supply his mates some beer after all his pubs are shut, there you go send out the ones that voted for this rubbish out, with farage and co, get some pretty red Brexit buses to take them there job done, were not discrimating, they voted for it, I did not

  5. timfrom April 3, 2020 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    So what’s needed to save those tight farmers from shelling out a decent wage? Easy. There’s a million new UC claimants just waiting to be drafted into the fields come harvest time and you don’t even need to worry about the social distancing thing. Being Dole Scum, they’re expendable. Plenty more to take their place!

    And no one can really say that isn’t entirely consistent with Tory behaviour this last decade!

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