Three recent stories on British reactions to globalisation. First, Sunday's Observer told us on its front page of the birth of the first global super-union. This turned out to be an exaggeration: in fact, four British, American and German unions have agreed to oppose job relocation:
Amicus, the UK's largest private sector union, has signed agreements with the German engineering union IG-Metall and two of the largest labour organisations in the US, the United Steelworkers and the International Association of Machinists, to prevent companies playing off their workforces in different countries against each other.
The move, to be announced this week, is seen by union leaders as the first step towards creating a single union that can present a united front to multinational companies. Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, said: 'Our aim is to create a powerful single union that can transcend borders to challenge the global forces of capital. I envisage a functioning, if loosely federal, multinational organisation within the next decade.'
Second, Edmund Conway reports in today's Telegraph that 70pc of public IT jobs 'could go abroad':
As many as 70pc of public sector IT jobs could potentially be moved abroad to cheaper economies, such as India or China, according to the UK head of the Government's biggest IT contractor.
Bill Thomas, the head of EDS's European, African and Middle East units, said he expected a dramatic change in public sector IT personnel as former civil servants employed by private sector groups faced the prospect of losing their jobs to so-called offshoring.
...Mr Thomas said 60pc to 70pc of the 8,000 EDS employees working on Government contracts – which include major projects for the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Work and Pensions – did not need to be employed in Britain.
"This is a really big, challenging issue for the UK economy," he said.
Third, the Telegraph reports that "fewer than one in four bosses support the immediate granting of full employment rights for migrant workers from Bulgaria or Romania". The Institute of Directors said that 63 per cent of its members wanted the Government to set quotas. An unusual position for an employer organisation, and evidence of just how far the migration backlash has spread in Britain.