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Black Unison members condemn slow pace of change in the fight against racism

BLACK workers condemned today the slow pace of change in too many workplaces.

Unison National Black Members committee’s Annette Hislop told the conference that preserving the legacy of the Year of the Black Member was “paramount” because “black workers still faced massive barriers.”

She said that change was still too slow and the experiences of black members needed to be listened to and “our voices amplified.”

Ms Hislop added that much more was needed to be done to tackle the “slow pace of change in too many workplaces and the exclusion of black workers from discussions about what reforms are necessary.”

She said that far too many black workers were forced to survive on fixed-term contracts and working unsociable hours.

Shazia Rock from Sandwell branch said: “It’s not good enough for people to just be against racism. They have to be anti-racist.”

Ms Rock slammed the Tory government for weaponising racism during the general election campaign.

She said: “This Tory government has continued its rhetoric against migrants.

“Our job is to keep up the fight against racism and to say proudly that refugees are welcome here and no to the racist language used by the Tories and any politician.”

Jocelyn from Lambeth local government branch said: “Black lives matter wherever we are and whatever we do.”

She said our job was “to put anti-racism front and centre.

“It’s up to us to keep employers accountable for what they do.

“Being anti-racist should be front and centre for all Unison activists.”

Delegates said that while Unison had made great strides in the fight against racism and in holding employers to account for racism in the workplace, much more was needed to be done to turn workplaces into anti-racist environments.

Tansaim Hussain-Gul from Wales said it was really important for there to be more allies in workplaces who black workers could rely on, as the battle against racism was not just for black workers to be involved in.

The motion also called for more branch officers and stewards to be trained in recognising and dealing with workplace racism.

Delegates insisted that it was time to take a qualitative leap forward in tackling racism.


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