migrants' struggles

Fighting from everywhere - Juventud Sin Futuro

Cuando volvió al trabajo después de unas vacaciones se encontró, para su sorpresa, a otra trabajadora en su lugar y, en lugar de finiquito, la frase "no vengas más: ya no te necesitamos". Sin aviso, sin indemnización... sin apenas excusa. Ella era una inmigrante española sin contrato escrito y con poco dominio del idioma o las leyes británicas y estas, la justicia, estaban del lado de aquellos que la habían humillado. Parecía que no hubiera nada que pudiera hacer.

Where are the St. Thomas disappeared?

Fears are growing for the 72 immigrant workers detained by the UK  Border Agency  (UKBA) at Guy and St Thomas’ Hospital, London in Februrary.  Very  little is known of the whereabouts of the 72 disappeared, who had been contracted to work as ancillary staff in the hospital by Reed temp agency. 

The only definitive update to emerge since the raid is that three of them have pleaded guilty to ‘fraud’, a charge levied against  them for collecting their ‘illegal’ wages from the hospital (as if  cleaning toilets for minimum wage wasn’t bad enough).

Raids, cuts and low pay - one struggle!

When the UK Border Agency (UKBA) carried out a raid on 6 January 2011 they did so under several pretexts. While immigration raids are carried out on a regular basis across London, the size and scale of the raid at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital suggests a concerted campaign to flush out a number of illegals who were working there under quite appalling conditions. These attacks on the migrant community have to be seen in light of NHS ‘reforms’ and the forcing of the unemployed into compulsory work and the low-pay economy.

Workers’ Solidarity, not Immigration Controls

The current “debate” about immigration focuses on economic arguments, with the bosses arguing that they need “skilled migrants” to fill gaps in the workforce. This is a partial truth, the other side of the coin is that migrant workers are also needed to do the low-status “unskilled” jobs as cleaners, security guards, agricultural labourers and workers in food processing plants which “native” workers can’t be dragooned into doing. However, the argument that immigration is “good for the economy” is not one we should adopt. “The economy” is the value of what the ruling class own, increased through our exploitation; anarcho-syndicalists reject the social democratic view that capitalism can be managed for the good of the working class.

The Workers’ Friend - Rudolf Rocker and the Arbeter Fraint Jewish anarchist group in the East End of London

September 10th marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Rocker, an occasion which prompted the Argentinian anarchist journal, La Protesta, to write: “With the passing of the old and dearly loved master the cycle of a brilliant generation of anarchist thinkers and militants is closed.” Here we look at some of Rocker’s contributions to the working class movement

The Early Years

News in brief

Cleaners win
The Living Wage Campaign at University College London (UCL) has claimed victory after the university agreed to pay cleaners the London Living Wage. The living wage is meant to be introduced over the next two years. The UCL Living Wage Campaign was formed two years ago and is an alliance of cleaners, students, academics, and staff.

For years London universities have been paying low wages to their cleaners. To date, thanks to pressure from various groups and campaigns, all London universities except University College London have been forced to pay their cleaners above the minimum wage and raise pay to at least the London Living Wage. The Campaign at UCL has vowed not to disband until the London Living Wage is fully implemented and all low-paid staff are well organised.

Migrants scapegoated across Europe

Minorities and immigrants have been hit by another wave of European racism and discrimination. French President Sarkozy’s expulsion of Roma and travellers’ camps met with international condemnation and demonstrations in the streets, but continues unabated now that the legal threat from the EU has been lifted.

Also in France, the proposed burqa ban, under the veil of being an education in republican values is a message to the muslim community - one that is echoed in Belgium, Holland and Switzerland.

Kasual Killing

Nothing demonstrates the both the inequity rife in Blair's Britain and the true blight of “asylum” seekers than the death of a 47-year-old man in a basement rubbish room of the Café Royal in London. For two years, while the rich dined in opulent splendour upstairs the man lived in the bowels of the hotel behind the rubbish bins.

When his naked and badly bruised body was discovered, police first though he had been murdered, before it was established that he lived naked due to the heat generated by the basement boilers and a post-mortem found that his injuries were consistent with a fall. The man had been an immigrant worker employed by an agency – one of thousands without papers who are forced to work for a pittance in hotels across London.