Tuesday, 26 August 2008
The Future of Organising Migrant Workers
An interesting article in this Sunday's Observer reminded many observers of the subject that the significant migration to the UK following the accession of 8 new states (often referred to as the A8 accession states) to the EU is now in the decline. It is no new news to anyone who understands migration that it ebbs and flows. This is essentially what makes the blatant racism of bodies like MigrationWatch so disgraceful. This type of body, just like the BNP, can never answer the purely cyclical capitalist demand of, for example fruit pickers. I take this example as ironically in the same edition of the Observer apple growers bemoan flexibility in the government's changed stance on the numbers of migrant students allowed temporary visas to undertake this seasonal work. Read the Observer article below:
A more union-specific point I wish to make however is, alas again, how short-sighted the UK trade union movement is in only making an effort so secure the recruitment of migrant workers in the face of A8 accession when in fact migration is perpetual phenomenon of the UK economy.
Let's hope that the structures and resources that UNITE for example have put into organising the migrant worker is more than the usual flash in the pan.
What do you think?