This morning, cleaners at Schiphol Airport have ended their strike after employers had met most of their demands. Union FNV Bondgenoten called the achievement a ‘great victory’ and an example for every employee in the Netherlands. Cleaner Judy Lock: “Stop thinking that merely being a member of the union is enough. No way: organise a majority of your co-workers and agitate! Then the agreement will follow sooner or later. I’m really glad!”
After a long fought battle meat plant workers at the world's largest pork plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. This victorious vote will give worker the right to bargain a first time contract. With growing community and political support these workers won against some of the most egregious union busting tactics experienced by migrant and non-migrant workers, including the deportation of union activists to freeze their organizing efforts and illegal firings. To all those workers who organized and fought under such intimidation and fear: you deserve justice and our deepest respect. Congratulations!
Related article from the New York Times:
New York Times features a story about "270 Illegal Immigrants Sent to Prison in Federal Push". Immigrants arrested in an Iowa raid faced tough criminal charges instead of rapid deportation: "In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents. The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration’s crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid. Until now, unauthorized workers have generally been detained by immigration officials for civil violations and rapidly deported."
The 5th issue of "Crossing Borders", a transnational newsletter on "Movements and Struggles of Migration", is out again in several languages with a focus on womens migration. One year ago "Crossing Borders!" appeared for the first time as an attempt to foster transnational communication ...Website: http://www.noborder.org/crossing_borders/
On March 8, 2008, the third station of the Transnational Chain of Migration Related Actions took place in Turin. The conference was planned after the huge demonstration of October 27, 2007, in Brescia (14.000 migrants), and held in the perspective of opening the process toward a migrants’ May Day008 in Milan. Our aim is to improve the general struggle against precarisation of labour starting from the political centrality of migrant labour. In this perspective, and for the developing of migrants’ networking process and struggles, it was necessary to understand deeply how the contemporary conditions of labour are changing and how the political management of borders and migration is connected with the process of precarization of labour as a whole.
Forty-five Indian construction workers have been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment under charges of holding illegal gatherings, vandalism, and violating public security following their participation in a strike last year for better working conditions.
The ITUC strongly protests against the verdict of the Dubai Criminal Court, a verdict that constitutes a strong violation of Convention 87 on freedom of association. According to the ITUC, Head Judge Jassem wanted to create a precedent and send a strong message to workers “who resort to illegal methods to get their rights from employers.”
From typicallyspanish.com: "A national police operation in Almería and Alicante has arrested three businessmen for illegally employing immigrants who were either using false documentation or the identity of another person. There were two arrests in El Ejido and another in Novelda, and it’s understood that one of the businessmen arrested in El Ejido was originally from Novelda. Also in custody are 21 immigrants from Brazil and China, with 11 of the arrests taking place in Alicante province and the remainder in Almería province.
Note: This David Bacon article is a preview of his upcoming book "Illegal - How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants," Beacon Press, Fall 2008
Mr. Sensenbrenner's Family Business
In December 2005, Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner convinced his Republican colleagues (and to their shame, 35 Democrats) to pass one of the most repressive immigration proposals of the last hundred years. His bill, HR 4437, would have made federal felons of all 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., criminalized teachers, nurses or priests who helped them, and built a 700-mile wall on the U.S. Mexico border to keep people from crossing.
A Swedish trade-union blockade which forced a Latvian company that used cheaper Latvian labourers into bankruptcy was illegal, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday. The website "EUobserver" has reported about the courtcase: "The EU's highest court has delivered a blow to the Swedish system of collective bargaining -- seen as underpinning the country's highly successful social model - by ruling that Swedish unions cannot force a foreign company to observe local pay deals."
The news agency Reuters reports about attempts "to dissuade migrants from Cameroon and Nigeria with a bleak new television advert that depicts the life of freshly-arrived migrants in Europe as one fraught with problems and dangers." The hard-hitting advert is part of a campaign by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Migration and the European Commission.