Socialist Worker

Defend migrant workers

Issue No. 2172

The past year has seen a wave of attacks on migrant workers in Britain. Activists at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London have helped to initiate a “Hands off my workmate” conference in response.

The UCU, Unison and students’ unions at Soas, and the RMT transport union are backing the conference.

Sandy Nicoll, Soas Unison branch secretary, told Socialist Worker, “The campaign for dignity and respect for migrant workers has come up against the fact that the law plays into the hands of the bosses.

“It keeps migrant workers exploited and vulnerable.

“The immigration raid at Soas earlier this year was a horrifying example of this. Because it happened in a place where the unions were strong, there was resistance.

“But new legislation is being used in a way that will affect people in unorganised workplaces.

“The conference is about drawing people together—trade unionists, students, migrant workers and campaigners—to educate people about what’s going on.

“It will put forward a strategy to turn the tide on this issue and focus people on what we can do to defend migrant workers.”

Hands off my workmate conference, 10am, Saturday 17 October, Soas, Thornhaugh St, London WC1H 0XG. To book a free place email

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Tue 6 Oct 2009, 18:30 BST
Issue No. 2172
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