EU and overseas workers are backbone of agriculture and food sectors - McAleer
Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has said EU and other overseas workers are the backbone of the agriculture and agri-food industries in the north.
The agriculture spokesperson said:
"Over ten thousand people from EU and overseas work in the farming and food sectors in the north, and many more are seasonal migrant workers who come here during harvest times.
"A high percentage of those who work in the food processing sector are new nationals who have come to make their home there.
“They are the backbone of the sector and much of our food and drink and, in turn, our hospitality sector is dependent on their labour.
"Tory plans to label them as 'low-skilled' workers are an insult to these workers who bring many skills with them and make an essential contribution to our economy.
“It is crystal clear that the British government’s new Immigration policy has completely ignored our unique and special circumstances.
“They have shown nothing but contempt for local business and industry leaders.
"I raised this issue this morning at the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee to show our support for these workers and Sinn Féin will continue to raise these concerns directly with the British government in the weeks to come.”