The research found that Rolls-Royce’s senior management is one of the least diverse in the FTSE 100. Photo Credit: Paul Ellis/Reuters

Lack of diversity in UK’s top firms could hamper post-Brexit trade deals

Article in The Guardian
17 August, 2017

Diversity will be – and often is already – heralded as a key feature of contemporary societies, alongside mobility. Younger urban generations will be much better prepared to take them in stride than my generation was.

“The warning comes as a report shows the number of FTSE 100 businesses with no ethnic minority representation at senior level has fallen from 62 to 58. However, none of the companies have CEOs or chief financial officers who are women from ethnic minority groups….

“In light of the UK’s desire to increase trade with non-EU countries, the ongoing inability of our leading companies to attract and retain leaders from east Asian and African backgrounds should be a matter for serious concern,” he said.

“The UK’s aspiration to be outward looking and open to business with the non-European world is hardly enhanced by the continued lack of challenge in the boards of our leading companies, still statistically and behaviourally dominated by men of similar cultural and educational backgrounds.”

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  Migrant farmworkers from Jamaica working on a vineyard at Tregunno Family Farms in the Niagara region of Southern Ontario. Photo Credit: Aaron Vincent Elkaim for The New York Times

Foreign Farmworkers in Canada Fear Deportation if They Complain

Article in The New York Times
14 August, 2017

To place all workers in a position to defend their rights, States must provide a legal and administrative status that enables and empowers workers – for example through easy access to unionisation and to justice – rather than one that places them in a precarious condition, where the employer can fire migrant workers and blacklist them at will, and where latter fear being returned to their country of origin if they open their mouth to complain. Creating conditions of precariousness has been the mechanism through which Canadian employers (and many other employers around the world) have been able to extract maximum labour for minimum costs. This need to change. The profitability and competitiveness of economic sectors such as agriculture, construction, care, extraction, fisheries or hospitality cannot be sustainably built on precariousness-based exploitation. We need to be able to start the necessary social conversations which will determine how we reduce the precariousness of status of temporary migrant workers, eliminate labour exploitation and compensate for the increased labour costs.

“Canada’s seasonal agriculture worker program was set up to recruit migrants from Mexico and 11 Caribbean nations to work for up to eight months a year to address chronic labor shortages.

But critics say the program is poorly supervised, leaving workers vulnerable to exploitation by employers, often denied the Canadian labor benefits they are entitled to and at risk of deportation if they complain about employment conditions.

“This program is a form of apartheid,” said Chris Ramsaroop, an organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers, a labor rights organization based in Ontario.”

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“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

Article at
11 August, 2017

Excellent report which adds to the mount of evidence of ill-treatment in Libya which should drive European governments to avoid policies that aim at preventing migrants from leaving Libya.

“As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy.

Whether they went to Libya to work or just as a place of transit on their way to safety and protection in Europe, migrants and refugees who have spent weeks, months or years in Libya face abuses that include arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, rape, forced labor, kidnapping, and even slavery. Many are held by smugglers for months or detained in official or semi-official detention centers in inhumane conditions where even their most basic rights as human beings are denied. Libya itself has been in turmoil since 2011, with three different governments competing for power and militias and criminal networks operating across the country”

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  "Just as the pyramid poster accompanied our earlier book, Work, this poster functions as a companion to our new book, No Wall They Can Build: A Guide to Borders & Migration Across North America. This poster illuminates the ideas set forth in that book, presenting them in a form that can appear on the walls of your town to stimulate conversation and show solidarity with everyone who is affected by borders." Poster:

Borders: The Global Caste System

A New Poster Illustrating Why People Migrate, the Risks They Face, and Who Benefits
11 August, 2017

A very interesting perspective and a great poster, from an anarchist website. One does not need to be an anarchist to appreciate the insight and the pedagogical tool. Many thanks to Raoul.

“The border is not just a wall or a line on a map. It’s a power structure, a system of control. The border is everywhere that people live in fear of deportation, everywhere migrants are denied the rights accorded citizens, everywhere human beings are segregated into included and excluded..

These divisions take many forms. There are physical boundaries—the walls of detention centers, the fences of concrete and barbed wire, the perimeters that enclose private campuses and gated communities. There are boundaries controlling the flow of information: security clearances, classified databases, internet firewalls that cordon off entire countries. There are social boundaries—the privileges of citizenship, the barriers of racism, all the ways that money calibrates what each person can and cannot do.”

To access the full article, please click here

  Graffiti says ‘Refugees Welcome’ on a sign in Calais, France, but the industrial zone where refugees sleep is not a welcoming place. Photo Credit: The Guardian

Teargas, cold, no toilets: plight of refugees in Calais revealed

Article in The Guardian
11 August, 2017

How can this be a policy? What does it achieve? What are its long term objectives? Is there any strategic planning?

“The woods around Calais and Dunkirk have once again become home to more than 1,000 refugees and migrants living in dire conditions without access to toilets, running water, showers or shelter.

Police regularly confiscate sleeping bags, bedding and possessions, and refugees complain that CS spray is often used during early morning raids on people sleeping. Reports of police harassment of refugees have risen as officials from both towns attempt, without success, to stop refugees from settling in the area.

But some kind of new camp now looks inevitable in Calais after a court ruled that the city government must provide showers and water supplies for the rapidly rising population of asylum seekers, who are mostly teenagers from Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Many of them are travelling alone, some as young as 12…

A Human Rights Watch report published late last month, titled Like Living in Hell, documented frequent use of CS spray, routine abuse of asylum seekers and migrants and regular disruption of food distribution sessions, concluding that the behaviour appeared to be driven “by a desire to keep down migrant numbers”.

But because Calais is known to be the closest crossing point to the UK, these official attempts to make it an unattractive destination for refugees have not worked and people continue to arrive”

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