John Laing, a cleaning contractor hired by London Overground, recently tricked nearly 30 of its employees — including an RMT union rep — into reporting for fake overtime, and subsequently handed them over to the UK Borders Agency.
The workers, who were told to report to a meeting in a school hall on 25 October, were arrested by UKBA cops. They were detained and told they had to produce papers to verify their immigration status. Most workers had valid papers, and were later released. However, one worker — Marciano Flora — now faces deportation.
Marciano has lived in the UK for five years and has a family here. Although his current work visa had expired, he had already applied for leave to remain and explained to UKBA officers that he had a letter from the Home Office verifying that his application was being processed. Despite this, he was arrested, taken to a detention centre in Dover and told he must leave the country by 9 November.
The RMT is mounting a campaign against John Laing, who say they will not rehire even those workers who the UKBA released. The move is typical of cleaning contractors who routinely use immigration law as a tool for union-busting. As well as organising to defend these members, the RMT and other unions must campaign for Britain’s racist and anti-working class immigration controls to be scrapped.
Workers should have the same freedom to travel the globe as the wealth we create currently enjoys.
• Online petition: marciano.epetitions.net
• Protest: John Laing’s Allington House building, 150 Victoria Street (opposite Victoria station), Wednesday 16 November, 8am