MOTION passed by Green Left Steering Committee 5/1/2010
“Green Left agrees to support the “Hands off my Workmate” campaign, which aims to prevent the use of Immigration law and the Borders Agency by employers to intimidate migrant workers, especially those who seek to exercise their rights to join and organise Trades Unions.”
Aims of HOMW
1. That the introduction of immigration checks and immigration raids in the workplace is divisive and damaging to union organisation and is designed to create pressure on migrant workers not to organise or to take part in action.
2. That companies who operate outsourced services such as cleaning, wish to operate in a non union, low wage, environment and are using immigration checks as a weapon to drive down pay and conditions. If they succeed in lowering conditions for one part of the workforce—then all are damaged.
3. An injury to one is an injury to all. Workers of all countries of origin require unity to fight for secure jobs, decent wages and safe working conditions and immigration checks at work simply divide and weaken us.
4. Fascist groups like the BNP have grown on the back of a climate of fear about migration generated by politicians seeking to lay the blame for economic crisis at the door of working people from other countries.
5. That the students and staff of SOAS who launched immediate protests, including a student occupation, to win protection for their migrant workmates/students are to be congratulated for forcing their management to request the immediate issue of papers to the cleaners held in detention, the return of those detained and to acknowledge the lecturers UCU policy of non co-operation with immigration controls as well as agreeing to reconsider the outsourcing of cleaning contracts.
6. That immigration raids in the workplace risk the health and safety of our members by bringing the potential for violence into our workplace through the entry of riot style squads hunting down workers and also create stress for all staff who witness such raids or who have colleagues & friends detained in them.
7. Employers do not need to, and should not, facilitate such raids.