21st Century Globalization: Borders, Citizenship and the New Exclusions
The current globalized world has resulted to transfer of human resources across the borders. Workers have crossed various borders in search of employment. The issues of immigration are a global problem that requires the amicable attention. However, the immigrants have been previously hinted to be beneficial for economic development in their destination economies. However, various governments have failed to recognize the contribution of these workers that has resulted to harsh treatment.
Essentially, the immigrant workers at Ontario, Rustbelt, and Sunbelt have undergone severe working conditions characterized by low wages, poor working terms and conditions, community isolation, diminishing human treatment and poor households. Consequently, these workers have made to the streets to protest against unfair labor treatments that have resulted from poor living and health conditions. The workers in these regions, due to diminishing of humans, foreign citizenship, and lack of labor and political rights has resulted to health problems, bankruptcy and poverty that symbolizes inhuman treatment.
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The Canadian economy has over the previous decade depended on the exploitation of foreign temporary workers. The Mexican immigrants have bee exploited with a cheap labor exposure in Canada.
Binford, (2012) provides evidence on how the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) of the government of Canada has created an economy based on oppression of workers. Due to lack of citizenship and lack of labor rights, the Mexican immigrant workers have been exposed to cheap labor and silenced by the constant possibility of unpredictable deportation. The immigrants have been denied the political and labor rights that have forced them to endure unsafe conditions.
Because of the lack of citizenship and diminishing of human, the Mexican immigrants in Ontario and have suffered frequent overworking, poor house conditions, occasional maltreatment, social exclusion from active participation in community life. Likewise, the workers mainly employed in the agricultural sector have been exposed to dangerous chemicals without proper gear or training. This has resulted into poor health of the immigrants, and the situation has worsened because they are lowly paid and cannot access proper medical attention. Likewise, the government has failed to protect these immigrant workers, primarily due to lack of citizenship in the country.
Furthermore, majority of these Mexican immigrants have heavily relied on traditional medication to resolve the health problems that mainly arise from harsh working environment. Although the Mexican immigrants have not manifested congenital diseases in their specific group, the rate of contacting certain maladies Binford (2012), reports is above the national average. Likewise, due to lack of health awareness among the Mexican immigrants, the incidences of diabetes have increased among the obese workers and according to Binford (2012), one-third of the Mexican workers fall in this health category. Lack of labor rights and diminishing of human that has resulted into poor remuneration has resulted to poor eating habits and inadequacy in their dieting that has directly contributed to the high prevalence of the community-based diseases or chronic diseases such as diabetes.
According to studies, 14 percent of all the cases of HIV/AIDS have occurred among the Mexican immigrants in the United States. This includes the immigrants at the Ontario that has also reported high rates the disease. Perhaps, lack of awareness that has resulted to low use of protection that Binford reports to be a direct consequence of diminishing of humans. The Canadian farmworkers in the Ontario region also have a higher risk of tuberculosis exposure in comparison with the entire United States population. Essentially, they are six times likely to fall a victim of tuberculosis than their U.S citizens.
The housing conditions of the Ontario farm workers are emblematic of the failure of the government to protect the immigrant workers in the Ontario farms. The employers are legally mandated to provide housing for the Mexican immigrants in the region; however, because the button line is more important for the employers than the Mexican workers, the employers have shifted to cost-saving and the houses are also inadequate. Besides, those lucky to get housing have testified harsh living conditions where they are given houses with limited facilities. The workers are forced to share facilities in an extreme ratio that amounts to diminishing of human. Essentially, they share showers, cooking stoves, and refrigerators.
Binford, (2012) observes from the studies based on a testimony from one Mexican immigrant worker who hints that they were thirty migrants and they were assigned housing with seven showers, five refrigerators, three stoves, and cold humid household conditions. The overcrowding of few facilities meant that these immigrants compete for the facilities, especially, showers and stoves. Binford, (2012) intelligences that the employers are often concerned enough on the neighbors’ opinions that they only conceal the housing of the workers from the main roads. Truly, this symbolizes the discrimination and exclusion of the immigrants from the Ontario society. However, due to foreign citizenship and lack of labor rights, the attempts by responsible organizations to foster for housing rights and favorable working conditions have bore no fruit.
The Chinese workers have been portrayed in labor studies as both the victims of global exploitation and having low living standards. Lee, (2007) in a comparative study of the workers in the Rustbelt and Sunbelt shows increased protests of the workers due to the working challenges. In the region of Rustbelt, the retired and retrenched workers continually protest due to the failure of management to live up to the socialist social contact. The workers are reported to protest due to the non-payment of the pensions, loss of benefits due to bankruptcy, and withdrawal of the heating subsidies. Therefore, workers have been affected because of the feeling of betrayal and survival struggles as they have been pushed to casual work or informal small-scale business in the region.
As the Lee argues, the protest by the worker is as a result of desperation. Essentially, the violation of labor rights, diminishing of human and foreign citizenship has led to low living standards among the workers in Rustbelt. The result is poverty as the casual works, and the small-scale informal businesses cannot be adequate to support the workers for daily needs. Therefore, health consequences have elevated as they cannot afford proper medical attention.
On the other hand, the workers in Sunbelt of the Southern China are characterized by increased migration working in the sweatshops of the new global economy. These workers continually protest over the gap between the assertions of the law and the implementations at the places of the work. Essentially, the violation of labor rights has led to low wages, injuries at work and increased disciplinary violence (Lee, 2007).
According to Lee, the legal contract and the labor laws have provided the immigrant industrial workers in the region a crucial institutional leverage with their bosses about the violations of the labor rights. Essentially, the workers at the Sunbelt have majorly protested against discrimination in labor practices. The increased injuries at work have led to incidences of disabilities and cases of mortality and morbidity. Likewise, the low wages given to the workers at the Sunbelt has increased the poverty level of the communities. The resultant effect is poor living standards, high debt rates, deaths and cases of disabilities.
Furthermore, the access of the workers to farm land acts in the form of social insurance has enabled the workers to supplement their incomes by keeping livestock and growing vegetables. Lee, (2007) provides that the rural homes of these peasant workers serves as a form of land social insurance where they seek comfort when they get retrenched. However, the workers have struggled to achieve self-identification within the regions.
The Mexican immigrants and the workers at the Sunbelt and Rustbelt have attempted to push for favorable working conditions through protests and relevant human rights organizations. Both the governments acknowledge that the laborers provide efficient and cheap labor for the employers and the economy and China and Canada. In return, these workers are forced to endure harsh living and working conditions. Furthermore, they are largely segregated and shunned from the laborer community. Particularly, the Ontario employers and the entire Canada have taken a page from racists and xenophobes who are constantly assured that they will never brush their shoulders with the isolated Mexican immigrant workers. Ideally, the temporary foreign employees have resulted to real manifestation of the invisible hand.
The government officials have attempted to defend the housing and improvement o the living conditions of the workers in these regions. However, the program Binford (2012), argues that if a form of altruism. Particularly, Binford (2012) cites the requirements of these workers to pay for some services such as the employment insurance from the below average wages, and they cannot collect the benefits. The employers in these regions are reported to recruit workers that have little choice, but to accept the exposure to harsh labor conditions. The workers are yet to receive better treatment through protests and the firm works that has been subjected to spontaneous working stoppages over the previous years due to protests of substandard housing conditions and low wages that has resulted into poverty, poor health, and high rates of discrimination.
Binford, (2012) concludes that the workers are beneficial for the development of the economy and the responsible government should recognize the labor rights violations trends and support the workers to foster justice in the casual and temporary workers.