The neoliberal global economy confronts us with a more flexible and transnational capitalism. â€œLean productionâ€ and privatization rely on cheap manual labor, outsourcing and "maquiladora" work. â€œPrecariousnessâ€ characterizes a political context which traps workers in a downward spiral of declining wages, job insecurity, decreasing democratic rights and exploitation based on race and gender discrimination. Migrant and contingent workers, once unwitting participants in this globalized transformation of labor, are responding to the unique conditions they face.
They are also defining new spaces of resistance. Migration represents more than the mere economic growth potential and ensuing collateral damage of global capitalism. Migration is also a social movement of appropriation, and the political power of exodus and refusal subverts the sovereignty of both the nation state as well as the globalized regimes of hyper-exploitation. Migrant movements are a â€œglobalization from belowâ€ which, viewed as a whole, constitute a globalized grassroots resistance against exploitative economies and their modes of exclusion, division and selection.
Over the last 20 years, the organization of migrant labor power has burst forth in a myriad of creative and cutting edge expressions. Within labor unions, the success of the US-based Justice for Janitors campaign overcame the pervasive and un-strategic trend in labor that refuses to recognize or organize migrant and contingent labor. Outside of unions, the many autonomous workers centers, and new independent grass-root unions like SUD in France or the self organized initiatives of migrant, precarious workers and solidarity groups in Seoul and Berlin. On-going research projects taking place in Hong Kong, Bologna and Madrid are of note. The integration of pro-union, pro-migrant, community and anti-racist approaches represent new challenges and opportunities to building worker power!
Taking into consideration the different conditions in the various countries and continents on one hand, and appreciating the variety of experiences and approaches of initiatives on the other hand, we are nevertheless convinced that a transnational organizing process will build our power.
Our web-presentation should inspire and improve a mutual information exchange and public debates spreading similar initiatives and strategies.
The platform will collect and collate information about the various projects all over the world. The contact groups or persons will be asked to provide a brief summary of their projects in one or two pages and, if available, more links to additional pertinent material.
We will propose leading questions and threads of debates (see below), which we hope will enable a useful and longer term discussion where deeper analysis and participation can emerge.
The Technical Expectations for the Platform
We would like to develop an open user friendly site, not a huge archive difficult to navigate. We want something creative and interactive, where participants can find easily what they are looking for. We will geographically map out our industrial sectors and fields, and we will sort out information by categories and catchwords. We are considering to periodically featuring key campaigns and/or organizations as well as enabling possible solidarity work. The site should be able to load text and pictures as well as videos easily.
The Editorial team or â€œWho Are Weâ€
Currently we are a few people from the Italy, Germany, Mexico and the U.S. involved in similar projects and debates, who are in contact with more groups or organizations working within a similar approach interested in the potential power of transnational discussion, networking and organizing. The "team" will be initially responsible to set up the platform, to ask other groups for feedback on the project, presentations and material (hoping to arrange translation when possible), and to initiate chats and debates hence involving more participants. The team is open for more interested folks, so let us know, if You would like to collaborate.
The Use of the English language As a first step and after considering our existing capacity we will start our platform in English until a multilingual approach can be worked out.