Labour MP Mike Gapes is quite correct when he denounces Ukip’s latest poster campaign as “racist.” The slogan “take back control of our country” and posters suggesting that “unlimited cheap labour” from Europe is undermining the conditions of British workers and causing unemployment, is inevitably divisive and racist…
… even when it’s dressed up in “leftist” and pro-trade union language:
Following the accession of eastern European states to the EU, migrant labour has been rapidly moving west while capital and manufacturing jobs are moving east.
While western European countries experience a large influx of migrant labour east European countries are suffering population falls and an inevitable brain drain, leading to a loss of skilled labour and young people as well as an uncertain future of underdevelopment.
In more developed member states, wages have been under pressure in many sectors in a process known as ‘social dumping’, as cheap foreign labour replaces the indigenous workforce and trade union bargaining power is severely weakened.
These problems have arisen in Ireland, most notably in the Irish Ferries dispute, when the company replaced 600 Irish seafarers with labour from Eastern Europe at considerably lower rates of pay.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is demanding measures to protect particularly unskilled workers where social dumping is threatening jobs.
“It is an iron law of economics that an abundant supply of labour pushes down its cost. It is insulting people’s intelligence to pretend otherwise,” it said in a statement.
Across Europe, it is clear that we are witnessing large movement of capital eastwards as labour heads west. And this is happening in accordance to the principles of the single European market, which allow the ‘free movement of goods, capital, services and labour’, regardless of the social consequences.
Single market rules, therefore, truncate all forms of democracy, including rights to fair wages, working conditions, welfare and social protection and collective bargaining. These EU policies can only mean a continuation of mass migration and, ultimately, feed the poison of racism and fascism, the last refuge of the corporate beast in crisis.
To reverse this increasingly perverse situation, all nation states must have democratic control over their own immigration policy and have the right to apply national legislation in defence of migrant and indigenous workers.
(Alex Gordon of No2EU, speaking in Dublin, October 2011)
PS: the “wave” of migration from Poland is over
PPS: Comrade Coatesy exposes Ukip’s real attitude towards the unemployed