The Blanket

Immigrant Slave Labour

Liam O Ruairc8.10.02

It is estimated that over 10 000 illegal immigrants who neither have a work permit or have applied for asylum are being employed in the 26 counties economy (Sunday Tribune 6 October 2002). They often work in precarious jobs, at very low wages and in difficult conditions.

Illegal immigrants are a source of cheap labour and a good means to create division in the working class. If they refuse their condition, the employers can threaten to denounce them to the Gardai. Illegal immigrants are even more vulnerable because there are no legal sanctions for the employers who exploit them, apart from tiny fines up to 250 Euro!

In James Connolly's day, there had been an influx in Ireland of immigrants from Eastern Europe, mostly Jews fleeing persecutions. Connolly had his party's programme translated into Yiddish, because he thought it very important that immigrant workers be organised to fight in the class struggle.

Today, there are 10 000 illegal immigrants among the Irish working class. Added to all legal immigrants, this makes a significant amount of workers that are, for the majority, outside trade union and political structures. Republican Socialists should reach out and defend this immigrant Irish working class both against racism and exploitation by Irish employers. What can be done? Republican Socialists could organise to name and shame those employers, and campaign that any employer found guilty of paying illegal workers below the minimum wage should be prosecuted irrespective of whether the person is entitled to be in the country or not.

It is our task to win those immigrants to the cause of Republican Socialism.




















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Index: Current Articles

11 Ocotber 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Just Desserts?
Anthony McIntyre


'Robocop' Raid Seen as PSNI Reversion
Eamonn McCann


A Secret History of the IRA
Niall Stanage


Immigrant Slave Labour
Liam O Ruairc


Fighting the Sharks
Sean Smyth


Academics on Independence, Part 2

Paul Fitzsimmons


Wake Up and Smell the Occupation
Sam Bahour


From the Mouths of Babes
John Chuckman


6 October 2002


That Book
Tommy McKearney


"SOS - Save Our Stormont"

Anthony McIntyre


Birds of Ireland
Brian Mór


The Right to Live
Davy Carlin


Interview with Colombian Human Rights Worker



Willpower of Revolutionaries




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