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Posts Tagged ‘migrant workers’

From Mondoweiss via curate:

protesters against palestian occupation

photo from mondoweiss.net

Noah Mae (second from left) and her friends are not Jewish either, though they were born in Israel and have lived there all their lives:

immigrant children of migrant workers in Israel playing

photo from BBC News

Noah Mae speaks and dreams in Hebrew. She is one of the more than 1,000 children of migrant workers who are scheduled for deportation this year.

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Eugenia Baja’s family began to receive worrisome text messages towards the end of 2007. First, the 25-year-old Filipina domestic worker in Riyadh said she could not send money for Christmas. Then in January 2008, Eugenia pleaded to her brother, “Please help me. Please find me.”

Eugenia texted that she felt cold all the time. Hungry. She did not know what was being done to her. She felt like she was losing her mind.

Then in February came the news that Eugenia had died in a Saudi Arabia hospital of an unspecified illness. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs later changed the story, saying Eugenia committed suicide by banging her head against the bathroom tiles in her employer’s bathroom. But Riyadh autopsy documents listed her cause of death as an ulcer, and noted that her body showed signs of starvation.

Eugenia was one of the 3,000 Filipinos who leave the country every day to work overseas. An estimated 75 percent of them are female, making Filipinas the country’s largest export. People like Eugenia are also the country’s most lucrative export, generating remittances of over US$15 billion in 2007.

This state-sanctioned labor migration is therefore a key component of the country’s economic development program. Despite the fact that too many women are coming home in caskets.

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Please read professor black woman’s post about the continued exploitation of migrant farmworkers in California, then sign the UFW petition for farm workers’ rights.

For my fellow Pinoys, please remember that in 1965, led by Larry Itliong, Philip Vera-Cruz, and Pete Velasco, 1,500 Filipino farm workers went on strike in Delano, California. The agribusinesses responded by sending goons to beat the strikers, and by turning off the gas, electricity, and water in the labor camps. When the agribusinesses brought in Mexican laborers as replacements, Itliong turned to the Mexican National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), headed by Cesar Chavez.

Itliong’s group, the Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) and Chavez’s NFWA later merged to form the United Farm Workers of America.

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