Speakers at the global justice forum spoke about strategies to build unity among workers in a world that is becoming increasingly divided. The invited international guests spoke from their perspective as migrants, racialized workers and unionized public sector workers.
Many workers from developing nations have been squeezed into a future of migrant work with few rights. “This is as a direct result of global capitalism – often referred to as neoliberalism,” said Wol-san Liem of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union. Austerity programs and neoliberal globalization have given rise to growing economic insecurity and the disturbing rise of precarious work.
“Migrant workers are the invisible workers,” said Eni Lestari, chairperson of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA). As we receive reports from our sisters and brothers around the world, the common thread has been that economic conditions have been created for workers to be pitted against each other; unionized vs. non-unionized, white vs. racialized, permanent vs. temporary, citizen vs. (im)migrant.
“One of the most concrete acts of resistance we can do is to contract back in public services from the private sector,” said Wol-san Liem. “Public services are the necessary economic equalizers in our society and they offer a lifeline to many refugees and migrant workers,” added Eni Lestari.