The Immigration Act of 2014 has far reaching strands that pushes society further to the right. It affects many areas of life such as housing and health. In health, the government want clinical, administrative and auxiliary staff to enquire to and report on the immigration status of patients, which could lead to charging or the withholding of healthcare services.
Recently I have received some very sad news. Our friend Peggy has passed away in Zaragoza (Spain) after a month in the hospital. Peggy was living in Brighton for nearly two years. She inherited from her family a passion for classical music, and she took part in the Brighton Choir. One of her favourite pieces was Mozart´s Requiem.
In the hospitality sector in Brighton it is very common to find employers who do not pay the minimum wage or pay the holidays owed to their workers. This problem is more common for migrants who do not necessarily have a great command of language or a thorough knowledge of labor laws.
This was the case for an employee of a restaurant in The Lanes. His situation in the workplace was made more complicated by the fact the rest of the kitchen staff, like him, were migrants, so communication was very difficult. He was paid minimum wage, 6.5 pounds per hour, and last minute changes to the rota were quite common, sometimes reaching up to 50 hours per week.
En el sector de la hostelería en Brighton es muy habitual encontrarse con empresarios que no pagan el salario mínimo o que intentan no pagar las vacaciones a sus trabajadores. Esta problemática es más común en los trabajadores migrantes que no tienen un gran dominio del idioma ni un conocimiento profundo de la legislación laboral.
Este el caso de un trabajador de un restaurante en The Lanes. El entorno en que se desarrollaba su trabajo era bastante complejo, el resto del personal de la cocina, como él, eran inmigrantes, por lo que la comunicación se hacía muy complicada. Su trabajo se abonaba con el mínimo posible, 6,5 libras por hora, y los cambios de horarios a última hora eran bastante habituales, alcanzando en algunos casos jornadas semanales de más de 50 horas.
Since the beginning of the crisis more and more migrants are arriving in London and the UK. When people come here, they often find their first steps difficult. We want everyone to feel welcome and help them as much as possible. That’s why we have published a new pamphlet, “London – a migrant's guide”. It is a practical introduction to life in London and the UK.
The following areas are covered in the guide:
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has been busy of late. Following the Heathrow passports checks scandal of November last year – in which the agency was accused of ‘relaxing’ passports checks on incoming passengers from the European Economic Area, prompting convulsions of anti-immigrant rage across the political and media spectra – the UKBA has invested its time in presenting an image of a robust, strong and uncompromising deportation specialists.
Report from a South London Solfed member.
On my way to work this morning I found the bus stops around New Cross bus garage swarming with police and UKBA immigration officers. I saw a man being questioned by immigration officials and surrounded by several police under the bus shelter. This was a bit weird and unnerving so I sent a mass txt out to warn people and pass on the message.
Today saw SolFedders join with some 100 members of the public to support an unofficial strike by University of London cleaners at Senate House. The cleaners, who are primarily Latin American immigrants and who are employed by the privateer Balfour Beatty, struck over unpaid wages. With some cleaners not having been paid for three months, it was decided yesterday that official union channels weren’t working and the workers called for a strike to begin today at 8am.
Where are the St Thomas' disappeared?
Where are our workmates?
Last month 72 workers disappeared from Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals. They were part of the hospitals’ ancillary staff. They are migrants. Where did they disappear to? The economic crisis means their cheap labour is not as useful anymore – at least for the moment. So the UK Border Agency was called in to get rid of them. The NHS trust complied. The workers were either arrested or deported.
The workers who clean the hospital and feed the patients earn around the minimum wage. And due to the UKBA the workers are not even always paid for their hard work. Isn’t this slavery?