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UK: Labour minister says comment that cheaper migrant labour is favoured over British workers was not aimed specifically at Tesco & Next

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12 August 2013

Labour backs down over Tesco and Next use of foreign workers (UK)

Author: Rowena Mason, Guardian (UK)

Labour has backed down on claims that Tesco and Next are examples of "unscrupulous employers" over their use of foreign workers. The party became embroiled in a row after the shadow immigration minister...briefed newspapers that he would criticise both firms for favouring foreign workers over Britons. But just hours before he was due to give a keynote speech on the issue,...[he] was forced to retreat from his case as Tesco and Next accused him of making basic errors. The senior Labour MP insisted he had meant more generally that "sometimes there are negative sides of migration in terms of the labour market".

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12 August 2013

Labour recognises immigration can have negative effect, says Chris Bryant (UK)

Author: Rowena Mason,, Guardian (UK)

Labour...recognises that immigration can have a negative effect on British workers...Labour's immigration spokesman...said the party had "concerns about immigration, the pace of migration, the undercutting of workers' terms and conditions and the effect on the UK labour market"...[T]he speech was overshadowed by confusion over...criticism of Tesco and Next for their use of non-UK workers. He had briefed...that the two chains were examples of "unscrupulous employers" that favoured foreign labour over British workers...But he backtracked...saying the companies were examples of "good employers" that tried hard to recruit UK workers but found it difficult to find staff with the right skills.

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