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Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 6:00:00 AM
Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 3:29:09 PM
by marie-louise gumuchian
Jamie Oliver has criticised Britons for complaining about work hours restricted to 48 hours under European Union regulations. - TLC
They are ‘wet behind the ears’, says celebrity chef.
CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has said all his restaurants would close immediately if it were not for European immigrants who make far better workers than “wet behind the ears” Britons.
The gabby 38-year old, who inspired home cooks across Britain with his “pukka tukka” or nutritious food recipes, said European workers were tougher and stronger than their British contemporaries and willing to work longer hours in hot kitchens.
In an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine, the television chef whose cheeky working class personality has driven up his TV viewing figures and recipe book sales, criticised Britons for complaining about work hours restricted to 48 hours under European Union regulations.
“And they still whinge about it. British kids particularly, I have never seen anything so wet behind the ears. I have mummies phoning up for 23-year-olds saying to me, ‘My son is too tired.’ On a 48-hour-week! Are you having a laugh?” he said.
“I think our European immigrant friends are much stronger, much tougher. If we didn’t have any, all of my restaurants would close tomorrow. There wouldn’t be any Brits to replace them.”
Immigration is a major issue ahead of Britain’s 2015 election – in August, the opposition Labour party toned down its criticism of retailers Tesco and Next after initially planning to accuse them of favouring cheaper workers from Eastern Europe over British employees. Next said it hired Polish nationals at busy times but said it did so because it could not find enough Britons to fill vacancies and it was not doing anything unethical or illegal.
“It’s all very well when people are slagging off (criticising) immigration and I’m sure there are problems,“ Oliver said. “Older people always complain about youth and I think it’s a good thing because it is always changing. The young will be better at different things. But long hours in hot kitchens is not one of them.”
Oliver hit global stardom on the back of his quest for healthier school meals in Britain that earned him an MBE award from Queen Elizabeth in 2003. He has numerous books and television shows – the latest focused on cutting down food bills. – Reuters
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