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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Stop looting the Third World of its skilled People

Stop looting the Third World of its skilled workers

This was Andrew’s sole contribution today, but it was his fifth of the week. He spoke to a hearing in his Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the subject of Legal Migration: Seasonal Workers and Intra-Corporate Transfers
He said:
“To allow immigration – even to encourage it – is seen as a liberal policy, a kind policy, an altruistic policy even a generous policy. It presupposes that there is an autonomous desire among the world’s peoples to transport themselves from familiar people and places to the unfamiliar.
The desire to move is often a function – a consequence – of: war; economic disruption; – both possibly caused by the West – and  exaggerated expectations of wealth fostered by the entertainment industry.
The motivation of those who encourage immigration are far from altruistic and far from generous. They want ‘flexibility’ of employment, which means the right to ditch workers when unwanted.  Seasonal workers fit the bill; seasonal workers are disposable workers.
Seasonal workers and intra-corporate workers are types of migrants that reveal the motivation of employers and the politicians who dance to their tune.  Both categories of workers are seen, not as human beings with autonomous desires and choices but as factors of production that can be bought and sold and moved around at whim. Indeed they are slaves without the fixed costs.
The conditions of work for seasonal workers are often below minimum acceptable standards. Rosarno was a particularly bad example but I suspect it was not unique. The other piece of information we brought back from Rosarno was that there were unemployed local workers, on scemes, who were being paid less than the minimum wage. If there is a need for seasonal workers, that work should be given to the local unemployed, who would work on proper contracts of employment on or above the minimum wage.
I know that Intra-Corporate workers are often contrasted with the less skilled seasonal workers but they too are bought and sold and moved at the whim of their employers. They are simply more expensive factors of production.
The developed world defends its recruitment of skilled third country – often Third World – workers because it needs their skills. I have news for the developed world: so do their own countries and they have paid for their education and training!
We are not content to rob the Third World of its health service employees. Their sick can be left to suffer and die. We are also looting their employees with valuable business skills that provide the only hope for their countries to develop economically.
The Third World is part of this world and is not a well of resources to be exploited by Big Business.