Unemployment among black and Asian workers up to three times higher in some parts of Britain

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date: Wednesday 6 February 2002

embargo: 00.01 Friday 8 February 2002

Attention: Industrial desk and ethnic media

Racism is still a major problem in Britain’s workplaces as unemployment remains up to three times higher among black and Asian workers than it is among white workers in some parts of the country. Responding to this problem the TUC today (Friday 8 February) launches a new advice leaflet Racism at Work, to help workers tackle the problem.

Figures revealed today by the TUC show that unemployment among black and Asian workers stands at 11 per cent nationally compared to five per cent for their white counterparts. In the West Midlands black and Asian unemployment is a high as 15 per cent compared to five per cent among white workers in the region.

The new leaflet asks: 'Is there racial bullying or discrimination in your workplace?' And it suggests that workers suffering discrimination to contact their union workplace representative, or go to their union equality officer at head office, or ring the TUC’s Know your rights line on 0870 600 4 882 for help. The leaflet contains 10 different languages through which readers are invited to join a union. The languages are: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, and Welsh. The leaflets will be distributed by trades union councils, who are the trade unions’ campaigning arm in the community.

TUC Organising Officer, Raj Jethwa , said: 'Unions are stepping up their campaigning against this appalling workplace racism. We are aiming to help black and Asian workers take action against exclusion from job opportunities, being passed over for promotion, and bullying.'

Unemployment among white and black and Asian workers by region







North West



South East



Yorkshire and Humberside



West Midlands






Regions not listed have sample sizes too small for reliable figures.

Source: Labour Force Survey (Sept - Nov 2001).

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Notes to Editors:

All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access

pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

A series of TUC rights leaflets are available on our website and from the know your rights line 0870 600 4 882. Lines are open every day from 8am-10pm. Calls are charged at the national rate.


Media enquiries: Mike Power 020 7467 1287 or 07626 845676 (pager) or 07900 914 322 (mobile) or email media@tuc.org.uk

Other enquiries: Raj Jethwa 020 7467 1245 or 07747 025983 (mobile), or Roger McKenzie 020 7467 1259 or 07973 559 241 (mobile)

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