Welcome to Black Matters a newsletter that the TUC will publish four times a year to bring you news on issues about black workers and employment.
The aim of this newsletter is to inform you about some of the important policy issues relating to black workers and the labour market
The newsletter will also keep you up-to-date with the anti racism priorities of the TUC and to uniform you of campaigns and events that are being run on race discrimination matters by trade unions.
Whilst some things have improved in the workplace, the TUC believes that the scourge of racism in the workplace is still affecting far to many black workers.
Only by being participating in trade unions and being organised can we hope to break some of the barriers to progress that many black workers face.
It has been ten years since the election of the Labour Government, and whilst the number of black workers in jobs has increased there are still major problems of discrimination in the labour market
Government policy on race relations and employment has mainly been aimed at creating good practice in the public sector on the premise that this will filter to the private sector. Over the last three years the TUC has argued that the that this is a false premise and that if race equality in employment is to be achieved then discriminatory practice in the private sector, which makes up two thirds of the labour market, must be tackled. The TUC has also argued that there is a need for a more effective strategy on private sector engagement and that more attention needs to be paid to tackling race discrimination within the workplace.
The TUC believes the institutional barriers highlighted by Sir William Macpherson in the Stephen Lawrence report need to be properly addressed in the private as well as the public sector, there is a need to recognise that in order to improve race equality in the workplace that there is a need for greater measuring, reporting, incentives and enforcement.
Next year will be ten years since the publication of the Stephen Lawrence report, which called on all institutions to take measures to deal with institutional racism. As part of its work the TUC published a new report in April looking at what has happen to black workers in employment over the last ten years.
The report 'Ten Years After' demonstrates that whilst employment levels have increased across industry there are still many areas of employment especially in the private sector where black and minority ethnic workers are poorly represented
The TUC believes that urgent action needs to be taken to speed up the pace of change in all sectors of the economy, especially the private sector, and is therefore calling for the following:
The TUC are holding a seminar for black women trade unionists at the TUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street. London WC1 on Monday 14th July 2008 between 2.00pm and 4.30pm. The seminar 'Black Women and Employment - A Way forward' will provide an opportunity for black women activists to:
Discuss issues that black women face in the employment
Prioritise the issues that trade unions need to raise on their behalf
Plan a strategy on organising black women in the workplace and making sure that their priority issues are acted on by trade unions
The TUC Race Relations Committee will host the seminar and speakers addressing the event will be Gloria Mills (Chair of the TUC Race Relations Committee), Professor Geraldine Healy (Queen Mary's College, University of London), and Zohra Moosa (Fawcett Society). There will be an opportunity for participants to be involved in small roundtable discussion on a number of different topics.
Please contact Narmada Thiranagama (TUC Women's Officer) email@example.com for information on how to attend
This will be the first time that the TUC has organised an opportunity for black women trade unionists to come together to examine problems facing black women in the workplace. The outcome of the seminar will be used to inform the work of the TUC Race Relations and TUUC Women's Committees and encourage trade unions to be more active on black women's issues.
The seminar follows on from a TUC Report on Black Women and Employment that was published in 2006. Copies of that report can be obtained from Wilf Sullivan TUC Race Equality Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
The TUC and Refugee Council are organising a campaign to persuade the government to change its policy on denying asylum seekers the opportunity to work to support themselves and their families. The campaign is based on the following principles.
Because of their exclusion from work, there have been fewer opportunities for trade unions to work with and campaign for asylum seekers to be treated with dignity and respect. The TUC believes that this campaign will create an opportunity for the trade union movement to re-engage with the issue of asylum and provides opportunities to the movement to: -
If you want copies of the a leaflet pleas contact Steve Mills at email@example.com.
For more details on and how you can help with the campaign, visit the campaign website at www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/letthemwork
Please email Wilf Sullivan, TUC Race Equality Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a speaker at a union meeting or conference or want more information on the Campaign.
With the British National Party gaining ten seats during the may Council elections and securing a seat in the great London Assembly, the need to take action against the rising tide of extreme right wing popoularism and fascist politics is becoming more urgent.
Fighting fascism is not just about challenging the racism of fascists but also about understanding that such parties are a threat to our basic freedoms because they are anti democratic and totalitarian in nature and use fear and prejudice as a means of gaining power.
Fighting fascism is not a task solely for white or black trade unions but for all of us. We should not forget that our history in this country has involved resisting attacks from fascist extremists, being Oswald Mosley's brown shirts who sparked the Notting Hill riots in 1958 or Combat 18 thugs who used football as a cover to attack Asian communities in Burnley in May 2001.
Educating union members about fascism and why they need to actively oppose fascist politics and parties is essential because workers make up a significant part of the local electorate and can become active in local community and anti fascist campaigns. The more we can actively engage trade union members the more effective these key campaigns will be.
The TUC has produced a booklet called 'Organising Against Fascism in the Workplace' specifically to help workplace representatives and activists run workplace campaigns opposing fascist politics and extreme right wing parties.
Copies of the booklet can be obtained from Steve mills email@example.com in the TUC publications department.
Every year, hundreds of black and migrant women face domestic violence from their husbands and families in the UK. For many, their insecure immigration status renders them extremely vulnerable to abusive partners who exploit their position by subjecting them to often-extreme forms of violence, imprisonment and domestic servitude, usually with impunity
The NO RECOUSE NO SAFETY Campaign brings together key women's organisations to highlight the devastating impact of 'no recourse to public funds' on the lives of minority women without secure immigration status and who are subject to domestic violence in the context of the marriage, employment and trafficking.
The Campaign is supported by the following organisations:
For more information on the campaign and for advice and resources to help take action on the campaign see:
The Campaign is calling for the UK Government to:
This years TUC Black Workers' Conference took place in Eastbourne from the 18th -20 April 2008.
The conference report detailing motions that were carried and Race Relations Committee election results can be downloaded from http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-14660-f0.cfm
Newsletter (2,000 words) issued 20 May 2008
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-14818-f0.cfm
printed 19 June 2013 at 09:51 hrs by 18.104.22.168