But RMT delegates walk out over TUC role in Southern talks
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady launched a blistering attack on racist Kent landlord Fergus Wilson as she opened TUC Black Workers’ conference yesterday, condemning his bid to ban “coloured people” from renting his properties.
She condemned the discrimination faced by black and minority ethnic (BME) workers in housing saying it is “hard to find a landlord with a heart bigger than his wallet.”
And she joined those mourning the loss of black activist Darcus Howe who she described as a “trailblazer for the cause of racial equality and social justice.”
Delegates from the RMT walked out on the TUC leader during her speech.
They staged the demonstration over the TUC’s role trying to end the industrial strife on Southern Rail over driver-only operation.
RMT says it was excluded from the TUC-brokered talks between Southern bosses and drivers’ union Aslef, despite having members in the cab and representing the guards whose jobs are on the line.
Aslef members have since rejected two deals agreed by the union negotiators and Southern bosses.
Conference chair Floyd Codlin of Aslef outlined figures in the TUC report Let’s Talk About Racism which showed that over half of BME workers have experienced racism at work, with women hit the hardest.
He said that 30 per cent of black workers are subjected to excessive surveillance in the workplace with a shocking 29 per cent reporting that they were denied promotions and development opportunities.
Mr Codlin said: “The report looked at what happened when black workers complained about their treatment.
“It found that 40 per cent of those complaints were ignored or those that raised them were identified as troublemakers.
“And one in 10 of those who complained were disciplined or forced out of their jobs.”
Slamming government driven austerity for the closure and privatisation of public services, he warned: “Racism does not stop at the workplace door.”
And Ms O’Grady announced the TUC executive have agreed to co-ordinate opposition to racist US president Donald Trump’s planned state visit to Britain later this year.