The Guardian has published an interesting piece on the wildcat strike at Heathrow this summer. The strike started after more than 600 workers of Gate Gourmet, the airline caterer to British Airways, have been fired: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,1548800,00.html
Are migrants regarded as â€œvictimsâ€ of economical determined relationships, that should be advised or protected? Or should migration be regarded as a potentially â€œsubversiveâ€ process of crossborder appropriation of a better living and working quality?
Nicholas Bell, member of the European Civic Forum, warned in his contribution in a conference in Crete of a too optimistic view on the â€œautonomous qualitiesâ€ of migration, referring to his own experiences with the working conditions in the agricultural business in El Eljido (Spain) and the enormous competition between old and new groups of â€“ often undocumented - migrants, which come there to work.
--about 18 women who fought for their right--
In Spring 2002, eighteen women from Romania came to the town of Lampertheim, in South-West Germany as seasonal workers. They came for a harvest of asparagus famous in the region. After a month of harvest, the women realised their employer was not going to pay the contracted salary. They staged a fight to recover their money.
One of the most important centres of strawberry-production is in Spain, in the Andalusian province of Huelva and one of the crucial advantages of this sector is the low cost of labour. Around 55.000 workers are employed every year in this one region and increasingly migrant workers.
The considerations which follow about womenâ€™s work and women at work have been developed by Libera UniversitÃ Contropiani in the frame of a more general discourse about precariousness and precarization and about the paradigmatic character of migrant labour as explained in the Maurizio Ricciardiâ€™s and Fabio Raimondiâ€™s paper already published on Thistuesday website. The starting point was the analysis of the transformations of the Italian labour-market under the influence of Law n. 30 (about labour and social security) and the so called Bossi-Fini law (concerning migration). The main consequence of this transformation is the impossibility of a representation of labour in the traditional Unionist form and way of struggle.
In 2002 the europeanwide noborder network launched a campaign against IOM, the International Organisation for Migration. This agency with its headquarter in geneva describes itself as "the leading international organisation of migration management". Border- and migration management are the current magic terms of "modern" migration politics. The clue is to combine exclusion and the deportation of the "unwanted", mainly refugees and asylumseekers, with controlled recruitment and selection of the "wanted", cheap labourforces.
"It becomes urgent, also in the field of research and theoretical debate, to perform a substantial revision of the way, with which migrations are regarded, putting in centre of attention the subjectivity of the migrants." This text by Sandro Mezzadra makes an assessment firstly about the
struggles of migrants in Italy, valueing migrations later on in general as social movement and globalisation from below.
" We believe that migrant labour today is a condition that anticipates and shares the general conditions under which contemporary labour as a whole is distributed. In this sense it can be said that all contemporary labour is becoming migrant." This is one of the central theses in the following article from Maurizio Ricciardi and Fabio Raimondi in their considerations about "Migrant Labour". Both authors are part of Tavolo migranti dei social forum italieni and it is not by coincidence to choose their texts as opening for a debate in "every tuesday": at least for europe the most advanced migrants struggles and its theoretical discourses come from Italy.
Low-wage workers in the garment industry, janitors without legal papers, temporary labor in the high-tech industry: the protagonists of a new wave of labor movement in California were long time considered as unorganizable. Now they lead a new generation of workers struggles which takes precariousness rather as a starting point than an obstacle for multiple ways of organizing -- no matter inside or outside of the unions.
In April 2004 union and labor activists of 13 European countries were invited to catch up on site on the working conditions in the construction industry as a â€œtest caseâ€ for the overall labor market situation and the employment policies in Israel. The journey had been initiated and organized by the Workers Advice Centre (WAC; Arabic: maâ€™an).