London (dpa) – With an unusual appeal to Germans in Great Britain and the use of the military, the government in London wants to get the persistent fuel shortage at British filling stations under control.
Almost 200 Members of the armed forces, including 100 truck drivers, are to provide “temporary” support from Monday, as the government seat Downing Street announced. A desperate letter campaign caused astonishment among Germans in the country, in which apparently indiscriminate people with appropriate driving licenses were asked to sit behind the wheel of a truck – even if they had never done this before.
Because class 3 driving licenses issued in Germany up to 1999 also allow driving a truck up to 7.5 tons, according to a report by the Independent, thousands of Germans received corresponding letters.
The UK Department of Transport said the letter had been sent to nearly a million people with truck drivers’ licenses. For data protection reasons, it was impossible to filter the list of recipients more precisely by occupation.
Completely new “job perspectives”
“It’s nice to know that there are still job prospects here for us after Brexit, ”said a 41 -year-old German who lives with his wife in London, the“ Independent ”. “If we had gone to Germany, we would probably never have been recruited as truck drivers by headhunters.” For the time being, however, he wanted to keep his job at an investment bank, and his wife had never driven a bigger car than a Volvo and would probably turn down the “exciting opportunity”.
There was also outrage that the letters were reportedly also sent to thousands of emergency services and fire services in the country. This is despite the fact that terrifying statistics on waiting times for emergency admissions are published again and again.
Many petrol stations are closed
In Great Britain there have been extreme bottlenecks at many petrol stations for more than a week. Many are closed. Long lines form at the rest. In some parts of the country, the situation is said to have improved. According to a large petrol station association, this does not apply to London and the south-east.
While the situation in Scotland, the north of England and parts of the Midlands has improved, it has “at best gotten worse” in the south. Petrol Retailers Association chief Brian Madderson told the BBC. Up to 300 drivers from abroad should receive immediate work visas, which should be valid until March. So far, the government had tried 5000 to lure potential applicants from abroad with temporary visas to the island from the end of October until Christmas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, rejected demands for one Relaxation of immigration rules to curb the truck driver shortage. “What we don’t want is to go back to a situation where the logistics industry relies on a lot of immigration of cheap labor, with the result that salaries don’t go up and the quality of jobs doesn’t go up,” he said. The British economy must end its dependence on poorly paid foreign workers in order to become a “well-paid, well-educated, highly productive economy”.
Fear of deterioration
It is feared that the bottlenecks at petrol stations and partially empty supermarket shelves are only the beginning of a whole series of shortages in Great Britain, which could worsen significantly by Christmas.
The country is not only lacking estimated 100. 000 truck drivers, but also thousands of employees in slaughterhouses and farms. So that the British do not have to do without their turkey at Christmas, temporary visas are also to be issued for people in the poultry industry Entry rules. Many truck drivers from Eastern Europe who left the country during the pandemic have probably been permanently lost to the British labor market. The government rejected calls to make the immigration of skilled workers easier in principle. Companies would have to pay better salaries, so the argumentation.
According to the industry, the situation in Germany is also serious. According to estimates, there were no 60. 000 to 80 in Germany. 000 Driver, said Dirk Engelbrecht, General Manager of the Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Disposal, recently on Deutschlandfunk. The industry lacks the next generation. «Every year in Germany around 30 000 professional drivers retire, but only 15. 000 new ones are trained. We slide into a creeping supply collapse. ”
The biggest problems are the insufficient pay, the image of the profession and the traffic situation. But the compatibility of work with private and family life is also a minus point.