Thousands of workers Australia-wide face the reality, or threat, of job losses or cuts to working hours. Bosses are trying everything they can to make workers pay for the global crisis of their system.
The crisis has already led to the axing of 16 million jobs worldwide and destabilised a number of governments around the globe. The risk of a double dip recession also remains, which would heap further pain and suffering on workers and the poor worldwide.
So who do the bosses and the media blame when Australian workers lose their jobs? Migrants and refugees! Yet how many speculators and stock market gamblers, who paid themselves millions in bonuses and triggered this crisis, are moving to Australia? Not many.
But of course these aren’t the migrants the bosses, their politicians and their media mean. The migrants that the major parties and their mouth-pieces in the media attack are usually members of an ethnic or religious minority.
When times are good the bosses exploit migrants as a source of cheap labour to do the jobs no-one else wants to do. When times are bad the bosses exploit migrants by blaming them for the unemployment that the capitalist system has created.
While the bosses are busy blaming migrants and refugees for all our problems, research demonstrates that immigration is actually good for the economy. The government’s own figures show that immigration boosts the economy through an increase in spending. This leads to an expansion of the economy as well as more skills and capital coming into Australia.
Migrants contribute much more in taxes than they consume in benefits and government services. So when the bosses and the media try to blame migrants for job losses they are lying.
The bosses are trying to make ordinary people pay for the crisis in their system. By blaming migrants this distracts workers from those who administer the system and focuses their anger on one of the most marginalised groups in society.
This tactic also has another major bonus for the bosses. By whipping up fear and prejudice against migrants employers try and divide Australian workers.
Bosses know that workers are stronger when they stick together. When workers are divided and arguing amongst themselves it is much easier for employers to push through their cuts. Trade unions need to resist this attempt at ‘divide and rule’ by organising migrant workers and refugees. We need industrial action to defend every job, service and hard won condition.
Socialists put the blame for unemployment where it really belongs – on the capitalist system and the bosses that caused it. That’s why while fighting to defend jobs and conditions we are also fighting to replace capitalism with a system that shares out the world’s work and resources.
By SP reporters