Sans-papiers occupy the OMI office in Paris

04.Dec.02 - Update: The Sans-papiers decided to evacuate the OMI building in Bastilles (Paris) towards 8:00pm in order to avoid imminent confrontation with the police forces. They have voted to organize another action in two weeks time to continue the pressure.

Since 1:30 pm, more than 200 sans-papiers and support groups are occupying the International Employment Office of the OMI in Paris. This occupation aims to denounce the OMI’s responsibility regarding the exploitation and the discrimination of undocumented migrant workers as well as its financial impenetrability.

Many foreign workers (especially seasonal workers) hired under OMI contracts receive no social benefits (unemployment wage, overtime, social security, pension, housing,...) and are not entitled to obtain welfare funds, and certainly not given any residency visa. No matter how long they work, all of them remain undocumented and many of them are victims of the employers’ blackmailing before they are employed.

This legal exploitation comes with flagrant discriminations such as the tax paid by the employer to the OMI (1500 euros), the incredible price of the medical exam (170 euros) that the undocumented worker must undergo year after year. This market of the needy is a real profit for the OMI that administers it in the shade.

Undocumented 'OMI' or sans-papiers living in France and Europe are now the Kleenex slaves of the 3rd millennium, workers used against their will to casualize labour on a global level, a plan orchestrated by the economical and political powers of the rich countries.

For equal rights against exploitation, we demand of M. Fillon, Minister of Social affairs, Labour and solidarity in charge of the OMI:

- the legalisation of all the 'sans-papiers', starting with the 320 files already submitted, meaning the granting of a permanent work permit and equal access to all social benefits.

- To make the OMI comply with the country’s social legislation, to put an end to casual labour and 'national preference' taxes.

Against repression and exploitation, For equal rights, Legalisation of all 'illegal' residents!

'Illegal' residents, throughout Europe in general and in France in particular, survive in the midst of the constant violation of their basic rights: work, housing, freedom of movement and residency, private and family life… and are caught in the vice-like grip of oppression and exploitation. Statements by politicians stigmatising the 'illegal' residents (invasion, draught effect, ID checks, electronic surveillance, border control…) are made daily, even though this reserve work force, which is at everybody’s beck and call, has never been as profitable to the growth of the wealthy countries. This hypocritical double-talk, which makes a show of a ruthless repression against the 'illegal' residents while exploiting them more than ever, is unacceptable.

The main objective of the rich countries’ governments and the multinational corporations is to transform permanent immigration into temporary immigration, limiting the duration of residency to the duration of the work contract, in accordance with the World trade Organization (WTO) guidelines. Relayed by organisations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which is multiplying short term work contracts deprived of the most basic social rights, these well planned political convergences are gradually paving the way for a commonplace casualization of labour.

In Italy, the decree of Ministers Bossi and Fini which led to the 'legalisation' of 800 000 'illegal' residents, serves as an example: the huge majority of them dependant on casual labour contracts, prolonged according to the employers’ needs and under threat of deportation if the contract fails to be renewed. Slavery of the 3rd Millennium, this Kleenex immigration fuels the 'on the spot' relocations and is used to undermine the social benefits of the host country’s workers and impose the boss given rules of flexibility, mobility and deregulation.

As many reports underline (UN, Commissariat Général du Plan, European commission, International Labour Organization (ILO)), Europe will inevitably have to resort to increased immigration in order to compensate for it’s labour shortage in several work market sectors and to face it’s ageing population. In this context, the legalisation of all 'illegal' residents in France and Europe is an obvious necessity.

Against the politics of stigmatisation and profit, which are the breeding grounds of fundamentalism and fascism, for the respect of equal access of all to basic human and social rights, the French government must urgently take the following fundamental decision: legalisation of all 'illegal' aliens with a 10-year residency card and equal access to all social rights and benefits.

picture of the occupation

picture of the occupation

picture of the occupation

picture of the occupation

picture of the occupation

picture of the occupation

pictures by Anthony Ceccarelli