UITBB Statement -18 December – International Migrants Day 2023

UITBB Statement

18 December – International Migrants Day 2023

On December 18, as we approach the conclusion of another year marked by poverty, wars, destruction and, we observe International Migrants Day. UITBB underscores that the status of being a migrant or refugee is never a voluntary choice but rather a consequence of capitalist interventions and neoliberal policies. No individual, be they man, woman, or child, willingly embarks on dangerous journeys across rough seas or through treacherous terrains; rather, they do so out of necessity for survival.

Upon arrival, migrants face ruthless exploitation by employers, often with the silent approval of governments. Restrictive measures are imposed, denying them the right to work with the full benefits accorded to local workers, fostering racism and xenophobia, and sowing the seeds for alt-right movements. Moreover, concerted efforts are made to prevent their organization into trade unions.

This issue is inherently class-based and demands a class-based approach. UITBB urges the progressive trade union movement to promote the integration of migrants into host societies, encouraging their participation in the broader class-based struggles. Expressing unwavering solidarity with all uprooted individuals, particularly migrant workers in the construction industry, UITBB calls on its members to actively support these individuals, resisting the influence of right-wing forces seeking to exploit migrants and fracture the unity of the working class.

UITBB reiterates that there is only one working class, regardless of color, religion, language, or place of origin. In light of this, we call on our members to organize specific actions to commemorate this year’s International Migrants Day, fostering a sense of unity and inclusivity within the global labor movement.

Michalis Papanikolaou

UITBB General Secretary