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Strength In Diversity - The Australian Working Class

Written by: Ned K. on 3 November 2023


(Above: Victorian dairy workers, members of the United Workers Union display unity in strike action in October)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recently released its Population By Country Of Birth Report for 2022. The Report recorded that the overseas-born people in Australia represented 29.5% of the total population. 

According to the Report, by international standards, Australia has a high proportion of overseas-born people. The USA has 15.3%, Canada has 21.3 % and France has 13.!%.

The USA figure may be much higher if undocumented migrant workers, arguably the backbone of the US economy are included.

Although people born in England are still the largest migrant group at 961,000, the number of migrants born in England is steadily declining. The number of migrants born in developing countries continues to increase. Indian-Australians born overseas number 750,000, with large numbers of people born in China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Nepal also looking to build their lives in Australia. The total number of overseas-born people in Australia is 7.7 million out of a total population of about 26 million.

There are overseas-born migrants in smaller numbers from many other developing countries from Asia, Africa and South America.

Most of the new migrants have to work for a living and make up a significant portion of the working class. They come from different cultures and have experienced different economic and political lives in their countries of birth. 

For generations since British colonial invasion of this continent, the ruling class has hoped new migrants and First Nations People turned out as a good source of cheap labour for the needs of capitalism's industries. 

In the age of the internet and now Artificial Intelligence, the nature of work is constantly changing but the ruling class still needs workers to create surplus value from which profits are derived.

New migrant workers are awake up to this and participate in collective action with other workers in pursuit of common goals as cost of living continues to rise. Sometimes they participate in workers struggles despite their visa status and threats from some employers of dobbing them to Immigration Department authorities for working when their visa has expired or is awaiting extension.

Many new migrants from developing countries in particular were ineligible to vote on the Voice Referendum but empathize with First Nations people because of their own experiences in their country of origin. 

This empathy with First Nations people's struggles and the experiences in their countries of origin strengthens the working class as a whole.

This in stark contrast to the ruling class and their press barons like the Murdoch group who look for every opportunity to weaken and divide the working class.


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