We believe borders only ever serve the bosses, they are explicitly to maintain differentials in prices and wages that boost the mark-up on manufacturing. Capital is allowed to flow unchecked, but not labour.
Just as financial institutions use differential interest rates to turn a profit without ever physically moving anything, this is a form of capital augmentation that doesn’t depend on commodity exchange as such, but on artificial barriers created by the state, some of which is syphoned off in tariffs, or by allowing only ‘skilled’ migrants, thereby pillaging the education systems of poorer countries. That’s primitive accumulation.
James Dyson had the benefit of free health and education under the post-war social democratic settlement then moved 400 jobs to Malaysia because he wanted to pay £3 per hour. Is it not perfectly honourable for a Malaysian worker to move to Malmesbury if they don’t care to work for £3 an hour, so they can buy one of his fucking overpriced vacuum cleaners?
It goes without saying the Working Class must organise accross borders in good faith. We should be talking to Bangladeshi garment workers and press-ganged Uzbek cotton-pickers. The idea that we can advance our class simply by local activity – even insurrectional activity – is deluded.
Angry Workers of the World, the West London-based collective who consistently produce some of the best contemporary analysis out of the UK at the moment, have just published a new piece reviewing a book on the Grunswick and Gate Gourmet struggles, and then using this as a jumping-off point for a broader discussion of what […]