The Cyberunions Podcast: Episode Sixteen

Solidaridad sin Fronteras

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0:49 Stephen’s Updates

  • Still using Vanillux GNU/Linux
  • Having some audio issues with alsamixer and pulseaudio
  • Also trying to find good FOSS software that tracks and bills a computer for a cyber cafe – any suggesttons?

2:30 Walton’s Updates

  • Dealing with immigration issues
  • Took the Life in the UK test -test your knowledge on this unofficial test site.
  • Visa fees are expensive – approaching £2,000 for Walton
  • Consecutive governments have dramatically increased fees amid anti-immigrant rhetoric. Conservatives doubled fees in April 2011
  • You need a visa to go anywhere on a South African passport. Travelling on a passport from a developing country is tough.
  • We have a guest today – Lindsey works for an immigrant advocacy organisation in Boston

8:00 It’s Labor Day in the US

  • Why September? Because conservative element sin the US labor movement wanted a day distinct from the more radical May Day.
  • May Day comes from the Haymarket massacre when workers were attacked while fighting for an eight hour day
  • Guardian article about Joe Hill and Labor Day

10:30 Our guest Lindsey speaks about immigration

  • Lindsey works at an immigrant advocacy organisation in the Boston area called Centro Presente
  • The UK relies on immigrants – especially doctors, nurses and home carers
  • Lindsey works with undocumented workers – sans papiers – because No one is Illegal
  • Immigration policy is often nakedly racist

18:00 Neoliberalism is responsible for immigration

  • Policies driven by rich countries decimate economies in poorer countries
  • Poor people need to move in order to survive
  • Neoliberal capital also needs a cheap and vulnerable labour supply – so immgrants suit them
  • Walton’s experience
  • Many poor countries receive large numbers of immigrants too – for instance, 3 million Zimbabweans live in South Africa – a quarter of the population
  • Human migration is natural, neoliberalism adds both push and pull factors

26:00 What is to be done?

  • Understand the global factors that lead to migration
  • Unions need to do more to reach out to migrants
  • We need solidarity networks
  • Social Movement Unionism is an industrial relations model that links union and community struggle

29:00 We agree to dedicate a future show to Social Movement Unionism

Some interesting case studies we didn’t get time to talk about

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