Today, thousands of migrant workers will take part in the UK’s first day of action under the banner, One Day Without Us. This is a day of awareness and celebration of the contribution of migrant workers who live, work and study in this country. UNISON is also supporting this event and has joined other campaigning groups to organise a day of action at Westminster, including a lobby of parliament.
Since the June referendum, EU nationals and non-European immigrants have come under enormous pressure. The police have reported a rise in hate crimes across the country and many newspapers and politicians seem to be attempting to stoke fear and hostility against people who are here as doctors, nurses, carers, entrepreneurs, employees, co-workers, friends and family.
The New Economics Foundation estimates that if every migrant withdrew their labour for one day it would cost the UK £328m, which is 4% of the country’s GDP. Out of the total UK workforce approximately 10.9% are migrant workers, but according to the Migration Observatory that number increases in key sectors such as public servicers. The English NHS for example, relies on 55,000 EU Nationals to support vital services and without these dedicated staff it could not function.
UNISON Northern has a long history of anti-racism work and promoting diversity alongside organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card. We are proud to show solidarity with this event and encourage branches and members to tweet their support using the hashtag #1DayWithoutUs
More information on this day, and other activities that are being organised, can be found on the website: http://www.1daywithoutus.org/