There is no Western European country where immigrant labour is a negligible force, or even a marginal quantity fluctuating with the economic conjuncture. Nowhere do immigrant workers provide simply a ‘regulator’ of employment, or merely an instrument for the bourgeoisie to increase the ‘industrial reserve army’. They comprise 6 per cent of the active population and almost 14 per cent of the number of manual workers in Germany and in Great Britain; 10 per cent of the active population and from 20 to 25 per cent of industrial labour in Belgium (including the building and extractive industries); 11 per cent of the active population (i.e. more than two million) and more than 25 per cent of industrial labour in France; 26 per cent of the active population and 35 per cent of the industrial labour-force in Switzerland.
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