|Asian Sewing Factory|
1) Most of the lowly work was done by Eastern EuropeansImagine that, 'unwilling to be treated like animals'. Who do they think they are? Somebody special? Move along you cattle, into the chute you go.
Around 80% of the really wretched jobs were done by Romanians.
From the perspective of the employer, the typical refrain when presented with this sort of data is 'We can't get English people to do the work'/'the locals don't want them'. The implication is that the British working class are coddled and lazy.
In practice it's likely that most British workers have minimum standards relating to the work they are willing to do – standards which many of the precarious and poorly-paid jobs our economy now relies upon do not meet. That was certainly true of the local people I talked to in Rugeley. As Alex, a former miner from the town told me with respect to the work I was doing: "I wouldn't do that work. I'll make no bones about it: I wouldn't do it because I'd fall out with them [the managers] over how they treat people."
The fact that a growing number of British people are unwilling to be treated like animals by unscrupulous employers is commonly viewed as in some sense shameful, when really it is a sign of progress.
Mostly when we think about a job, we think about how much money we'll get paid, and that's is certainly important. But there are a lot of other factors that come into play, especially if the money isn't more than you've ever made in your life. Things like how you are treated, whether your coworkers are assholes (your boss is always an asshole, it's like part of the job description), whether you are permanently on call, whether you get to decide when you can use the restroom. The work itself is kind of beside the point, unless it's dangerous, but that isn't usually the problem. It might be back-breaking or tedious. It might even be engaging, complex enough that it requires at least some of your attention.
Looking for pictures I came across an essay about modern day slavery in the USA. Part 1 here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here.