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Migrants' low pay forces down wages


Sir, Your article last week on migrant workers ('Integration of migrant workers tops the agenda', News, May 5) was notable for the absence of trade unions from the discussions.

One wonders if this is due to employers' reluctance to invite their participation or to a reluctance by the unions to take part.

I would strongly suspect the former, because the unions would highlight the exploitation of the migrant workers and their low wages compared with UK workers.

What migrant workers are paid undercuts national pay agreements.This is a doubleedged sword as it not only forces down workers' pay but also increases the spectre of unemployment.

If there is truly a skills shortage in the industry and a need for migrant workers, they should receive terms and conditions at least equivalent to those enjoyed by UK construction workers.

R Baughan Bristol