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Migrant Rights are workers rights!

Leaflet distributed at the May Day demonstration in Dublin

1st May 2004

McDowell´s racist referendum is not just another electoral gimmick to win elections as the PDs and Fianna Fail currently run the country without any need for such tricks.  These are not the antics of a marginal National Front type organisation.  McDowell and his cronies have power so when they propose something, we should ask ourselves what it is that they are planning to do.  Of course the timing of the referendum to coincide with the elections may benefit them, but more than that it will obscure any debate on the fundamental issues.

The Government has already said that it will limit the rights of people from European accession states to social welfare.  This means no social protection for them and when they run into a dispute with their boss and lose their job for standing up for themselves; they will have no protection.  The result is easy to see, they will not be able to stand up for themselves as quickly as Irish workers and McDowell´s cronies get another cheap source of exploited labour.  Tony Blair announced this week that he had plans to do the same in Britain.

Migrants coming to Ireland are not given work permits, their bosses are!  So if they demand their rights they lose their jobs and their permits.  The Brazilian butchers are a case in point.  They work long hours for less pay than Irish butchers, are housed ten to a room by the companies they work for.  When they complain they are threatened with the sack and deportation.  All of this happens in unionised meat plants, but the unions just look on and do little to help them.

Now to rub salt into the injury McDowell and his cronies plan to deny their children Irish citizenship and the right to stay in this country.  There will be no stability for anyone who might dare to stand up for their rights.  Harney constantly tells the media that Ireland needs migrants.  What she really means is that Ireland needs cheap migrants who will be deprived of any means of defending themselves.  Workers will come here to work with visas held by their class enemy, their boss and they will be deported when they fall out with him, as will their children.

Migrants from Africa, Eastern Europe etc who come to Ireland are fleeing from neo-liberalism that impoverished their country, swallowed whole privatised state industries and left them with no rights.  In many of these countries workers pay a high price for speaking out.  Here in Ireland they will also continue to pay a high price.

When they flee neo-liberal Africa etc they arrive in neo-liberal Ireland where we are facing the imminent asset stripping of the very infrastructure of the State.  Aer Lingus, Dublin Bus, ESB and the public services have all being restructured to facilitate this robbery through Social Partnership.  The restrictions on welfare will also be eventually applied to Irish people.  This is part of a general offensive against the working class in Ireland, whatever their nationality.  It is in Irish workers interest that migrants enjoy the highest protection.  Migrants are just the weakest section of the working class and easy targets.

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All



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