Friday, 20 November 2009

'Bosses Exploit Migrant Workers' Shock Horror

The BBC News have a story today, headlined 'Hospital cleaners 'blackmailed''* on their website, about three manages from ISS Mediclean who have been arrested during a raid at Kingston Hospital. It appears that these 'senior managers' were 'blackmailing' junior members of staff by threatening to report the cleaners to the UKBA, we assume because they did not haver the correct documentation and were easy targets for exploitation.

Shock Horror! This goes on all the time. That is the handy role 'illegal' workers have fulfilled for years and, despite all the government posturing and law-making, will fulfil for years to come. It is also prevalent in the service industries and in particular those that have been privatised, where 'outsourcing' companies pay very low wages and employ clandestine workers that they they know they can fire if they 'get out of line', trying to organise in a union or demanding the sort of wages and conditions (e.g.: the SOAS cleaners) that any ordinary worker would consider to be standard. That is how these companies make their massive profits and pay large dividends to their shareholders.

And what does the ISS PR stooge put up to comment on the case have to say? "ISS deeply regrets any adverse reaction this incident may have had on the patients, staff and visitors to the hospital. It is our responsibility to work within the law and to ensure that our employees do the same, which includes demonstrating their right to work legally." Pull the other one!

Racist organisations and dullard tabloid newspapers are also constantly banging on about foreign workers coming over here stealing 'our' jobs, working for cheaper wages. Yet it is the people that run these companies and that are paying the low wages that are exploiting these people for their own ends. The foreign and undocumented workers do not turn up at factory gates and persuade the bosses to cut wages so they can employ them. It is the other way round and it is the bosses that the people should be targeting not scapegoating 'foreign workers'.

* Typically the Mail's take on the incident was 'Hospital cleaning bosses at major firm arrested over 'migrant fraud'', despite using the same Press Association-written story as the basis for their article and the first sentence of their piece being: "Three managers at an NHS hospital cleaning company have been arrested on suspicion of blackmailing foreign staff." Being arrested for blackmail of workers, 'illegal' or otherwise, obvioulsy doesn't make for a Daily Mail sort of headline that arrests for immigration offences does.

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