Stop whining about migrants and get a job, Ocado boss says
If EU migrants will work harder and for less pay than Britons, let them, high street veteran says
SOME advice for Britons who complain about immigrants who come to the UK to work: stop whining and get yourself a job.
That's the recommendation of Sir Stuart Rose, the boss of online grocer Ocado. He has little sympathy for those who say immigrants steal British jobs.
If people from countries like Romania and Bulgaria want to move here and work harder and for less pay than Britons, so be it, he told Sky News.
"I'm a free market economist, we operate in a free market," the former Marks & Spencer chief executive said. "If these people want to come here, and work the hours they are prepared to work for the wages they are prepared to work for, then so be it."
Sir Stuart was responding to a question about a possible surge of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria once transitional controls preventing them from getting UK work visas expire on 1 January. David Cameron has proposed a raft of measures to curb an influx of new workers from those countries including increasing the fine for employers found to be paying less than the minimum wage. The penalty will rise to £20,000 in a bid to discourage companies using migrants as cheap labour.
Sir Stuart Rose is spot on about immigration. We operate in a free market & we should welcome those who want to come here & work harder
— AlistairdeKareSilver (@Alistairdks) December 9, 2013
The high street veteran intimated that some Britons didn't work hard enough to secure themselves a job in a tight labour market.
"It's up to people to decide what they want to do," he said. "I think there are a lot of people who complain about their lot. Life is tough for everybody at times. "
He added: "I know people will look at me and say 'It's alright for you', but I started off with pretty well nothing. I did a lot of menial jobs when I was young."
Sir Stuart's comments were backed up by Lance Batchelor, chief executive of Domino's Pizza, who told the London Evening Standard his company has 1,000 unfilled jobs that Britons won't apply for. The lack of drivers and cooks was preventing Domino's from expanding in the UK, he said.
"People who would have worked here a few years ago now don't want these jobs," he told the paper. "We could fill 1,000 jobs across the UK tomorrow if we could get candidates to apply for them." ·