Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Polish lorry drivers decline Boris Johnson’s Christmas visa offer

Polish lorry drivers decline Boris Johnson’s Christmas visa offer

Thousands of UK petrol stations have run dry due to a shortage of truck drivers. (AP pic)

WARSAW: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed three-month working visa for European truckers just isn’t a sweet enough deal to convince 35-year-old Polish truck driver Jakub Pajka to go back to Britain. And he’s not alone.

A post-Brexit shortage of lorry drivers — estimated to be around 100,000 — as the Covid-19 pandemic eases has sown chaos through British supply chains in everything from food to fuel has raised the spectre of disruptions and price rises in the run-up to Christmas.

The British government on Sunday announced a plan to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers as a response to the acute shortfall of truck drivers that made gas station pumps run dry in cities across the country. The visas will expire on Dec. 24.

Pajka, who quit his job in Britain as it was leaving the EU, said three months just wasn’t long enough for it to be worthwhile.

“No thank you, Mr Prime Minister, I will not take advantage of this opportunity. No drivers want to move for only three months just to make it easier for the British to organise their holidays,” he said sitting behind a wheel of his red truck on a parking lot just outside Poland’s capital Warsaw.

The additional money couldn’t offset the struggle of moving countries, the threat posed by migrants trying to cross the English Channel on the back of a truck or the separation from his family, he added.

“The money you can earn in the UK does not compensate such driver for all the dangerous things that happen to him there,” he said pointing to the scuffles with migrants he witnessed in ports of Calais and Dunkirk.

On a different parking lot outside of Warsaw, Jacek Rembikowski, a 60-year old truck driver with 25 years of experience, also said Brexit somewhat influenced his decision to return home after working in Britain for seven years.

Despite his thirst for adventure, and his fond memories driving from “Norway to Portugal”, he says he now prefers to stay in Poland.

“(There was) an uncertainty as to how we will be treated in this situation,” he said. “Whether Brexit will shake up not only the industry but also whether drivers will still be wanted.”


  1. Different people have different wants and needs.

    For appropriate levels of pay, there is a market for freelance gig lorry drivers who are pretty flexible with where and when they work.

    Of course, Boris Johnson can't expect to pay peanuts for such freelancers. It's a premium market, because these guys often have to put up with periods without any work, in between gigs.
    And when you need them, you really need them.

    1. There r many willing Bangladeshi truck drivers who've willing to work exyra hard & less pay for the pommieland.

      But… but … would the pommieland accept them?

      There r widespread of Polish workers involving in multiple discipline of service sectors.

      Trucking is just a small tiny part. Construction & many maintenance services r the other.

      Wakakakakaka… soon more pommieland services - those 3D jobs, would have labour shortage surfaced!

  2. Energy Crisis Everywhere.

    Will Bully be Forced to Import Coal from Others or Swallow Pride and re-open Ozzie Coal Imports? Either Way Lose Face. Winter Coming.

    China may be forced to lift Australia coal ban as power crisis worsens
    By Bloomberg News
    September 29, 2021

    China’s power crisis looks set to spur it to import more coal from a wider range of producers, putting it into competition with European and Indian buyers that are also snapping up more of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

    More than two-thirds of China’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants and, while more than 90 per cent of the fuel it uses is mined locally, it’s difficult to raise local output at short notice. Looking offshore is the easier option, but that’s been complicated somewhat by Beijing’s decision to ban imports from Australia - the world’s second-biggest exporter - late last year.

    China is likely to increase purchases of coal from other countries after banning Australian coal last year.

    Instead, China is likely to try and increase purchases from traditional sources. Jilin province will seek more coal from Indonesia, Russia and Mongolia to ensure power supply and heating, Governor Han Jun said in a statement.

    Asia’s largest economy could also look farther afield to coal exporters like South Africa, Colombia, the US and Canada, putting it into competition with buyers in other parts of the world and adding more impetus to global price rallies. European electricity producers are snapping up coal as a shortage of natural gas forces utilities to burn it to cope with their own power crunch, while India is also running low on inventories of the fuel.

    Beijing could, of course, decide to ease the ban on Australian coal imports, although that may not be politically palatable. BI’s Leung doesn’t think it’s likely, although Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at shipbroker Banchero Costa & Co, reckons it’s a possibility. “Soon the Chinese government might be forced into easing the ban on Australian coal, as that would allow more coal to be imported and ease some pressure on domestic coal prices,” he said.

    At least 17 Chinese provinces and regions making up 66 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product have announced some form of power cuts, mostly targeted at heavy industrial users, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The reasons are two-fold - record high coal prices are causing power generators to trim output despite soaring demand, while some areas have proactively halted electricity flows to meet emissions and energy intensity goals.

    1. Wakakakakaka…

      Even Bloomberg is engaging in fake news & that blur c&p mfer would jump into it & CHEER no end!

    2. “China may be forced to lift Australia coal ban as power crisis worsens” ?

      You have been had, again!

      Bloomberg News is just a ‘shiok sendiri’ piece for you guys!

      For your information, Chinese announcement of power cut is a strategic measure in the financial war against the US of A.

      US has been freely printing the dollars against the Treasury Bonds which have to be repaid. Currently almost $30 Trillion are outstanding. Meanwhile, jobless rate is high, pandemic is still raging. CPI has ‘busted’ the normal acceptable rate of 2% since April ’21, August ’21 CPI is 5.2%. Inflation will soon be intolerable.

      Biden had to work overtime at 10:00pm in US to call Xi Da Da at 10:00am in China begging China to save US by buying US Bonds, in other words loan money to US.

      With this US can give free money to the jobless, offer low-interest rate finances to US companies and enterprise and these recipients can buy low-cost goods from China or invest in China and thus will save the days of the problem of inflation in US. Huge amount of the US dollars will enter China and can eventually cause inflation in China in turn which they describe as exported inflation by US to China.

      Chinese factories have been so competitive that they compete with themselves and have been exporting super low-cost products to US. More than 70% of the goods on the shelves of Walmart in US are made-in-China, from toothpaste to sleeping gowns, toys to all hardware, underwear etc, you name it. So much so that there is a joke that when an American is off-all-things-Chinese, he is naked! Wakakakaka.

      To cut the story short, power cut is to force the cutting of the supply of super low-cost goods.

      However, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, maybe caught in this US great ‘Ponzi’ game.