Trade Unions + Migrant Organisations’ Statement

As trade unions and migrant organisations, we stand against this Government’s attempts to pit worker against worker. We know that an injury to one is an injury to all.

All workers deserve decent pay, safe working conditions and protections if our bosses seek to take advantage of us. Public sector workers deserve pay rises, but we strongly oppose any decision to fund this by further taxing migrants, by hiking visa costs and NHS fees. This is a blatant attempt to sow division within the labour movement and our communities. 

Increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge by 66% and increasing visa costs will push ever more people into destitution and poverty. The UK already effectively taxes migrants twice for healthcare, and has some of the most extortionate visa fees in Europe – a migrant family of four often has to pay around £50,000 over 10 years for the right to stay. This massive increase is simply unaffordable – it will price workers out of being able to afford a visa and force thousands further into poverty during the cost of living crisis, or out of the country.

Migrant workers are a  vital part of our communities and our workforce. They are the backbone of our public services, and our migrant members already face the hostility of the immigration system. No worker should be pushed into poverty, unsustainable debt or homelessness simply because of the papers they hold.

We urge the Government to abandon its plans to increase NHS and visa fees for migrants and meet the pay demands of our public sector workers through progressive taxation which ensures those with the broadest shoulders contribute more to our vital public services.  

Signatories of the statement: 

  1. British Medical Association 
  2. The GMB 
  3. NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union 
  4. The National Education Union (NEU) 
  5. Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
  6. UCU – University and College Union
  7. Society of Radiologists
  8. Social Workers Union 
  9. Fire Brigades Union (FBU) 
  10. ASLEF 
  11. BFAWU
  12. Asylum Matters
  13. Bradford Rape Crisis
  14. CARAG 
  15. CARIS Haringey
  16. Caritas Shrewsbury
  17. Doctors of the World 
  18. Duhra Solicitors
  19. English for Action (EFA) London
  20. Evesham Vale Welcomes Refugees 
  21. Fresh Grassroots Rainbow Community 
  22. Focus on Labour Exploitation: FLEX
  23. Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group
  24. Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU)
  25. Haringey Welcome
  26. Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)
  27. Kent Refugee Help
  28. Kiran Support services
  29. Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS)
  30. Leeds Anti-Raids Action
  31. Maternity Action
  32. Maternity Stream, City of Sanctuary UK
  33. Medact
  34. Migrant Voice
  35. Migrants Organise
  36. Migrants’ Rights Network
  37. Music Action International
  38. Pan-African Workers Association (PAWA)
  39. Paul Hamlyn Foundation 
  40. POMOC (Polish Migrants Organise for Change)
  41. Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)
  42. Praxis
  43. Project 17
  44. Public Interest Law Centre
  45. RAMA (Refugee, Asylum seeker & Migrant Action)
  46. Refugee and Migrants Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL)
  47. Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Action (RAMA)
  48. Reunite Families UK
  49. Right to Remain
  50. Runnymede Trust
  51. Seraphus
  52. South London Refugee Association
  53. The Unity Project
  54. The Voice of Domestic Workers
  55. United impact
  56. We Belong 
  57. Welsh Refugee Council
  58. Women’s Budget Group
  59. Yorkshire Migrants Solidarity Movement
  60. The3million
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