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Hostile environment changes 'not going far enough,' Labour warns

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THE government’s decision to change immigration rules under which migrant workers could be denied the right to strike is “not going far enough,” Labour said today.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has raised concerns that international staff taking part in recent strikes by university lecturers could have had their visa sponsorship withdrawn — or even have been deported — if they exceeded 20 days’ unpaid absence in a year.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday that he would be “making changes to the guidance and immigration rules for migrant workers,” which would “add legal strike action to the list of exceptions to the rule on absences from employment without pay for migrant workers.”

In response, shadow immigration minister Afzal Khan said: “The essential right to strike clearly applies to migrants as well as British citizens.

“The slow chipping away at the hostile environment is not going far enough or quickly enough.

“The government has accepted this cruel policy is failing, but we need a full review of all hostile environment policies.”

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