Trade Union and Migrant Org Statement #TogetherAgainstCharging​

Trade Union and Migrant Org Statement #TogetherAgainstCharging

Read the statement against the latest exorbitant hike of visa fees and Immigration Health Surcharge of which Reunite Families UK is a co-signatory

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:
British Medical Association
NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union
The National Education Union (NEU)
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
UCU – University and College Union
Society of Radiologists
Social Workers Union
Fire Brigades Union (FBU)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
TEFL Workers’ Union (IWW)
Asylum Matters
Black Europeans
Bradford Rape Crisis
CARIS Haringey
Caritas Shrewsbury
Doctors of the World
Duhra Solicitors
English for Action (EFA) London
Evesham Vale Welcomes Refugees
Fresh Grassroots Rainbow Community
Focus on Labour Exploitation: FLEX
Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU)
Haringey Welcome
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)
Kent Refugee Help
Kiran Support services
Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS)
Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (LRMN)
Leeds Anti-Raids Action
Maternity Action
Maternity Stream, City of Sanctuary UK
Migrants At Work
Migrant Democracy Project
Migrant Voice
Migrants Organise
Migrants’ Rights Network
Music Action International
Pan-African Workers Association (PAWA)
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
POMOC (Polish Migrants Organise for Change)
Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)
Project 17
Public Interest Law Centre
RAMA (Refugee, Asylum seeker & Migrant Action)
Refugee and Migrants Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL)
Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Action (RAMA)
Reunite Families UK
Right to Remain
Runnymede Trust
South London Refugee Association
South Yorkshire Refugee Law & Practice
The Unity Project
The Voice of Domestic Workers
United impact
We Belong
Welsh Refugee Council
Women’s Budget Group
Yorkshire Migrants Solidarity Movement

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