Immigrant workers are the least valued part of the working class, as they work at the worst paid jobs, in miserable conditions, with their labor rights usually not being recognized. These miserable conditions are deliberately passed over in silence by the state, which is concealing the exploitation of immigrants, making it easy for employers to intensify the devaluation of the immigrants’ lives and for entrepreneurs to increase their profits.
The state of Cyprus favors employers by regulating the labor rights of immigrants, with special contracts that often forbid immigrants from changing jobs, deprive them of their right to unionize and – in the case of asylum seekers- even restrict them into working only in specific professions.
Furthermore, under this employment regime, the state of Cyprus is even stealing the immigrants’ social security stamps! Immigrants who have been living and working in Cyprus for years have their salary subjected to deductions, yet they cannot receive any legal benefits from the deductions or a recognition of their years of service, when they return to their home countries. Despite the reports and organized demands of immigrant organizations in Cyprus for bilateral agreements between Cyprus and immigrants’ home countries, (in this case, demands of the Filipino immigrant community in cooperation with ethnic groups from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India and Nepal) the state’s policy remains unchanged.
We know that immigrant workers are forced to come to Cyprus for a variety of unfortunate reasons, looking for a better life. The miserable working conditions that they are experiencing are due to state and institutional isolation and social racism that divides workers into “locals” and “foreigners”.
We support the mass protests of immigrants and their demand for recognition of their Social Security stamps in our country, and we are in solidarity with their organized groups fighting for their labor rights. Against the devaluation and exploitation of local and foreign workers, beyond any national or religious divisions and with solidarity as our weapon, we organize and fight united, confronting the common enemy. The working class can win only if it unites against its oppressors.
NO TO THE ROBBING OF WORKERS’ SOCIAL SECURITY STAMPS BY THE STATE OF CYPRUS
IMMEDIATE RECOGNITION OF SOCIAL SECURITY STAMPS FOR ALL IMMIGRANT WORKERS IN CYPRUS
LEGALIZATION OF ALL CURRENT IMMIGRANTS, WITH A CLEAR PATH TO CITIZENSHIP AND FULL WORKING RIGHTS
UNITY AND SOLIDARITY OF IMMIGRANT AND NATIVE WORKERS