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Let's talk about people

A guide to population and migration in the South West
Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
Key findings

People move regions and nations for all sorts of reasons and have always done so. 

But issues of immigration or population change can cause alarm, especially in high-pressure political times. 

This guide produced by the TUC South West looks at the facts behind the emotional headlines.

Trade unions speak up for working people, including protecting wages and conditions from being undercut by bad bosses. It means supporting all workers from being exploited.

We know the best way to protect jobs and secure good wages is to crack down on employers who exploit migrants for cheap labour. Trade unions work hard to secure the same good pay and decent conditions for everyone in the workforce. And take on the bad bosses who try to divide the workforce.

All workers need more power to speak out for decent treatment and fair pay for everyone, no matter where they come from. It is with this power that we can achieve stronger and better protections and rights at work for everyone - from banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, to better sickness and pension benefits.

In recent years, the issues of immigration and population have been hotly debated, and today are rarely out of the news. People want to be confident that the nation has control of its borders and finances. This is not racist but extremists deliberately use antagonistic and emotive rhetoric on issues to try and whip up hatred towards migrants. This can affect how people are treated at work and in communities.

Migration brings economic benefits and the richness of diversity. But change, or fear of change, can be worrying for some people. And it is often the case that those least likely to meet migrant workers are the most likely to believe the scare stories. 

The South West has a small population of people who have moved here from abroad but we need to address the fears with facts, and the problems with solutions. This guide should help.