Labour urged to 'rediscover its roots' to tackle racism

50 signatories, including former prime ministers Alfred Sant and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici as well as president emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca call on government to fight racism through working-class unity

File Photo
File Photo

A group of politicians, academics, authors and activists have come together to call on the government to fight racism through "working-class unity and by respecting worker’s dignity".

In the letter signed by over 50 signatories, including former prime ministers Alfred Sant and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici as well as president emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, the group argue racism will increase until workers’ rights are comprehensively upheld. 

"The letter is an appeal to our politicians, particularly in the Labour government, that instead of populism that enflames racism and pits workers against each other, they recognise the important link between racism and social inequalities.  

"We call on the Labour government to rediscover its roots in a united working class," the group said in a statement. 

“The government must recognise that "social inequalities and military attacks" by NATO are among the main causes of forced emigration. Therefore, it should work tirelessly for justice and peace,” it said. 

The letter also highlights the steps the group believes must be taken to address international and national injustices.

Among the priorities are a living wage, an end to precarious work, and the creation of an agency to act as a regulator on employers to ensure respect and workers’ rights.

They also suggested that when Government authorises a company to enlist foreign works in bulk, it must impose, in advance and by law, conditions of work which are suitable and decent and with a contract which is legally binding.

The group also suggested the government adopts measures which combat institutionalised racism, such as ensuring that no refugees dies in Maltese waters and the instances with Brussels that Malta gets financial compensation for expenses related to refugees.

“Insist that Malta is given financial compensation for how much it has lost with the destruction of Libya due to military actions of various Member States of the European Union,” the letter read.

The Maltese government should also, through a parliamentary resolution, state it will not be part of an EU army. “The mission statement of this army is built on political impositions through military aggressions. Apart from the many other significant reasons that determine why Malta should never be a part of this army, its operations continue to increase forced migration and racism, both in Malta and in the rest of the European Union.”

“We believe that Malta and the European Union should be a force for peace and a model for equality for the world, where human rights are truly celebrated as fundamental and universal rights,” the letter read. “We believe that every person should have the right to emigrate in a secure manner in order to have a better life, even more so when that person is escaping from a country where there are wars, violence, and persecution.”