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For the common interests of immigrants and workers

28.05.2010 - 19:37
(updated: 06.06.2016 - 13:48)
The Communist Party of Finland regards immigration policy from the perspective of the common interests of the working-class - independent of national interests - and the class struggle, internationalism and human rights. We reject xenophobia, racism and the setting migrant workers and low-income people against each other. We call for the implementation of equal rights that belong to everybody. The improvement of employment and social security as well as the increased awareness of workers' common interests are also the antidote to racism, for which a competitive society and a the hard values of the stronger right-wing create soil to grow.

It is important for whole labour movement to refute the false images and arguments that the right-wing party the True Finns uses to criticize immigration and justify their anti-immigrant attitudes and racist threats. Immigrants are not a homogeneous group, and neither are people born in Finland. They are not to blame for unemployment, housing problems, or social deficiencies. Immigrants do not receive better benefits, on the contrary among them unemployment, low wages, and many other problems are larger than average. It is also appropriate to ask why people from developing countries should not be allowed to move across borders while over one million Finnish immigrants live in other countries.

No "fortress Europe"

Anti-immigrant attitudes serve to conceal the real problems and those who are responsible for them. Wars, poverty and environmental destruction are the main causes of refugee phenomenon and migration. One of the main reasons behind these causes are the capitalist profit motive and imperialism. Displacement and migration are not just something "elsewhere". They are results of the same exploitation by large corporations also conducted in Finland. Tightening control of European Union's external borders and reception and detention centers, in which many asylum-seekers’ and migrants’ human rights are violated, are direct consequence of the exploitation of the developing countries. Particularly undocumented immigrants are often contracted to work on starvation wages.

Instead of building a "fortress Europe", we need action to support developing countries' own needs to develop their economy, to make international economic structures fairer, to combat climate change and an end the wars. Finland must see to its international obligations to receive refugees. The processing of asylum applications must be accelerated.

End to social dumping

Immigrants in Finland are subjected essentially to the same problems as most other residents here. These problems are unemployment, insecurity of job and income, expensive price of housing and growing inequality. Therefore, solving the problems of immigration policy is usually also a way of solving societal problems in general. These cannot be solved in isolation, as the problems of immigrants on the one hand and problems of those born in Finland on the other. They require a conversion to the direction of policy and restrictions on the power of capital. This will require the cooperation of all those who suffer from the consequences of right wing policies and the power of capital. It is a challenge, among others to the trade union movement and local resident movements, to organize activities so that immigrants are extensively involved.

Communist Party calls for an end to the dumping of labour and the eradication of the black economy by strengthening generally binding collective working conditions agreements, by launching a law providing for a minimum of EUR 1,500 per month salary and by demanding a compliancy of the working conditions required by Finnish standards also in the case of so-called ’sent labour’. Dumping of labour in working conditions and speculative abuses on fixed-term contracts carried out by the temporary employment agency companies must be prevented. Immigrants seeking to work must be helped by facilitating acceptance of the equivalence of qualifications and by waiving restrictions on asylum-seekers to seek employment.

The segregation of residential areas should be prevented by ensuring access to affordable rental housing and by ensuring the adequacy of the housing stock diversity. In municipalities, the needs to provide basic services in different languages, for example, for the elderly immigrants, must be taken into account.

Multicultural Finland

The integration of immigrants is also linked to specific problems, such as Finnish or Swedish language learning, the adoption of local laws and many prejudices that migrants face. Immigrants themselves should be involved in solving these problems and influencing the decision-making. They are not merely targets that must be integrated into the society.

Promotion of the integration should not be subjected only to employers’ labour-political needs in municipalities. Integration plans must apply to all immigrants, including housewives, or other members of the family outside the labour markets. The state must demonstrate more resources and more stringent requirements to municipalities to ensure an adequate and multi-level language teaching.

A shift towards a multicultural society is a challenge also to those who are born here. It is integration into more international and multi-cultural Finland and the world. Media has a great responsibility in the dissemination of truthful information about the reasons for the refugee and migration phenomenon, as well as about different cultures.

Finnish identity has never evolved in isolation from other countries and cultures. It has always been influenced from elsewhere and has been a part of humanity's common culture. Racism is not patriotism. It only opens the way for a hardening of measures against labour, democracy and human rights.

Congress of the Communist Party of Finland 15.-16.5.2010: