France: sans-papiers strike for their rights
This is the third large wave of strikes in the last years by immigrant workers demanding the most basic right, to live and work in France; their slogan is “On bosse ici, on vit ici, on reste ici” (we work here, we live here, we stay here). Most of them have been working here for several years, some more than 10 years, in the hardest jobs and with the lowest wages: construction, collection of waste, restaurants, industrial laundery etc. They receive regular wage papers from the employers, pay for the social security and the income taxes but have practically no rights. For instance, even when they are sick, they do not claim benefits otherwise they would take chances of being persecuted by the administration and ultimately the police. Most live in overcrowded foyer in appalling conditions and are constantly harassed by police controls. Most of their meager income is saved and then sent back to their country of origin, countries like Mali, Senegal, Burkina-Faso and Kurdistan.