Many people have reported on the uptick in brazen xenophobia in the UK immediately following Brexit. While it is not necessarily due to an increase in xenophobic feelings amongst the British people, those who were already xenophobic seemed to have become emboldened by their decision to leave the EU. Migrant workers have, of course, felt this more than anyone, and so a strike has been organized to drive home just how much they contribute to the UK.
Migrant workers and their supporters are planning a day of action to highlight their role in the UK in what is being billed as a celebration of the contribution they make to British society.
Plans for the event, called One Day Without Us, include a labour boycott to show how important migrants are to the UK workforce.
Organiser Matt Carr, a writer and commentator, has urged migrants and their supporters to join in the day of action on 20 February 2017. He said the trigger for the event was profound concern about worsening attitudes to migrants in the UK.
I love this. So many people who bitch and moan about migrants forget that there are still many jobs that they don’t want to do, and that people from other countries are picking up the slack.
However, one paragraph in the article did give me pause.
“We want to make this an inclusive event,’’ Carr said. “We realise that because of the legal constraints on striking, many workers will not be able to take formal strike action. However, they can choose to support this event simply by taking the day off work.”
Hang on. Legal constraints on striking? What legal constraints on striking? Does he mean the legal constraints on, say, public servants, like policemen and firefighters?
It seems as though the UK has some of the strictest restrictions on striking in Europe, especially after a recent law was passed earlier this year. That’s really too bad, as this strike would have more of an effect on the average citizen if it was done for more than one day. Still, symbolically speaking I’m all for it, I just hope that the aftermath on sales and revenue is covered extensively, so that the people at home really understand just how much migrants contribute to the British economy.
We’ll just have to wait and see on that one I suppose. Until then, if you’re working in the UK and are not British save the date: 20th of January 2017. Take the day off, don’t go shopping, and spread the word, especially if you too are concerned with the anti-migrant feeling that has been fomenting after Brexit.