Migrant Workers Taking Industrial Action

QMUCU recognises there are specific issues faced by migrant workers participating in industrial action which do not affect staff with British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain.

UCU has commissioned specific legal advice and has produced a Frequently Asked Questions guide which goes into detail on some of the main points.

The key point of this advice is that staff on Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas are officially protected for most relevant purposes. However, there are additional steps which such staff may need to take if they are intending to apply for indefinite leave to remain. See the link for further details.

In addition, QMUCU recognises that official protections are not always respected in reality, and that some colleagues may have well-founded concerns arising from their experience of the Home Office or their employers’ approach. If such members do not feel safe to strike, QMUCU will respect their judgment, and encourages them to contribute or show support for the action in ways they are comfortable with. We extend our solidarity to anyone surviving and fighting the UK hostile environment

Teaching Associates on Tier 4 visas are also in a distinct position. As regards their teaching contracts, they have the right to participate in the strike on the same basis as other staff. As students, however, they have no special status and so may be compelled to attend classes given by non-striking staff or face being reported for serial absence by the institution (which jeopardises their visa status). QMUCU will not pressure Tier 4 colleagues or students to miss such classes. TAs who are affected in this way are encouraged to let the pickets know they are crossing the line under duress.

Source: qmucu.org (University and College Union at Queen Mary, University of London)