Posted: 8 July 2019
This Sunday, on the 7th of July, took place our national meeting. It was a productive day filled with vibrant debate, informative workshops and planning ahead. We heard from a range of inspiring speakers and discussed topics such as fighting the Immigration Bill, closing detention centres, resisting the hostile environment in public services and scrapping No Recourse to Public Funds, among many others. We noted all the exciting ideas that came out of the workshops and plenaries to make sure they’re put into action, and created working groups for our priority campaigns.
Eighteen people put themselves forward for the Steering Committee and we voted to elect all of them. The list is as follows:
We also voted on our statement of principles. The final, amended version is posted below (amendments 1-3 passed, amendments 4-6 didn’t.)
Throughout the day, we collected over £100 to the fighting fund of mainly migrant cleaners who work outsourced on the London underground and are balloting for strike action.
If you couldn’t make it but want to get more involved in our campaign, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if there’s anything you’re particularly interested in. And don’t forget to submit our conference motion to your CLP!
The Labour Campaign for Free Movement is a network of Labour members and supporters campaigning to defend and extend free movement and migrants’ rights.
We believe that Labour should be a socialist, internationalist party standing for all workers, regardless of birthplace. Our party and our trade unions must counter the scapegoating lies that sow division by blaming migration for stagnant wages, insecurity, unemployment, crumbling services and the housing crisis.
Free movement is a workers’ right – the rich and powerful can always move where they like. Attacks on the rights and freedoms of migrants don’t protect British workers – they undermine all of us. They make migrant workers more precarious and so vulnerable to hyper-exploitation, driving down wages and conditions for everyone. They divide us with suspicion and hostility, making it harder to unionise and push back.
To turn back the anti-migrant tide, our movement has to confront it and win back hearts and minds, rather than retreating into appeasement and triangulation. We must tell the truth about who is responsible for the problems facing workers: exploitative employers and landlords, and the succession of governments that have protected their interests against ours.
And we must propose real solutions: redistribution of power and wealth; massive public funding to ensure good jobs, homes, services and social security for all; and scrapping all anti-union laws and replacing them with strong legal rights for workers and unions, including strong rights to strike and picket, so that, uniting across divisions, workers can push up wages and conditions. Migrant workers have always been central to trade union campaigns beating low pay and exploitation. To low pay and exploitation, to deprivation and dispossession, we say: build unions, not borders!
Ending free movement with Europe is an immediate threat to the rights of millions: both EU citizens who have come here or may want to in future, and UK citizens who will lose the right to move, live and work freely in those countries. Labour and our trade unions must defend it. But we cannot stop there.
We must reject policies that determine migrants’ freedoms to move, live and work here based on number caps and targets, on incomes, or on how useful they may be to employers. We oppose the expansion of temporary labour migration programmes, especially those where workers are “tied” to an employer.
We must oppose the brutal policies imposed by the UK government on non-EU migrants, including:
And we must oppose the lethal Fortress Europe policies imposed at and beyond the EU’s borders, standing instead for welcoming refugees and extending free movement.
Since our foundation in 2017, we exist to argue for these principles and demands within Labour and the trade unions, to secure their adoption as policy, and to make sure that our movement consistently enacts them both in government at all levels, and from opposition.
We recognise the huge range of other campaigns and organisations for migrants’ rights and we want to work with them: our roles are to help them win over the rest of our movement, and to encourage Labour and union members, individually and collectively, to get directly involved in taking action.