Solidarity on Day for International Migrants
(18/12/12) On UN Day for International Migrants, UNISON has received two messages from our brothers and sisters abroad.
Public Service International's Caribbean affiliates says that they "commend UNISON on its work in protecting and defending the rights of migrant workers". But it adds: "The need to protect those rights is even greater. Many of your key activists are themselves migrant workers.
"We encourage and urge migrant workers in the public service sector to join UNISON.
"Working together and joining in migrant worker networks is essential in protecting your rights and influencing public policy on migration. If we want a better life for all, we cannot ignore the rights of migrants and their families."
And in a solidarity message from ANTHOC, the Colombian Health Workers' Union, general secretary Carmen Mayusa wrote: "We send a greeting to Colombian immigrants in the UK on International Migrants' Day.
"We want to express our support for the Our Day campaign that celebrates the contribution of migrants in the world and defends their rights.
"We want to highlight the importance of this campaign. Migrant workers are among the most exploited by the global economic system, as they play the same role as workers in the third world, of providing the cheapest labour, in the worst conditions, to sustain the growth of international capital, without seeing any of its benefits.
"In Colombia, we know that reality well because we also confront it. Not only because of the terrible working conditions, but also the denial of our right to protest against them and organise. Those of us who struggle for a better life continue to be persecuted by threats, assassinations, imprisonment, displacement and hostilities; more than 243 social activists have been assassinated during the first two years of the current government, among them 69 trade unionists.
"We also know that many have been forced to leave the country due to the abuses and now find themselves far from their homes and homeland. They had to leave for different reasons, but those of us who know the reality know that the greatest desire is to return to our most beautiful places, our countries of origin where we find that part of our hearts and our fundamental reason for living.
"We dream of a Colombia and a world where the labour and human rights of all human beings are respected and where all can have a dignified life. We know that migrants from Colombia and from all over the world share our dream and the struggle to achieve it, more than anyone, and we look forward to continuing to work together for a better Colombia and a better world, where you and I are brothers and sisters in equal conditions.
"At this time of year, as a tradition, families get together, and ANTHOC sends you a strong embrace of solidarity. admiration and fortitude, wishing you a happy season and a prosperous new year for 2013. That your and our efforts are able achieve peace, for our people and the whole world.
"We send a solidarity embrace to the community in London, and especially to our friends at UNISON, for their valuable work in support of a better world for humanity."
To find out more about UNISON and migrant workers, plus the Our Day campaign, click here