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• Joint statement in support of Azeem Rafiq issued by Yorkshire’s trade unions at meeting today

The TUC have today written to new YCCC chair Lord Kamlesh Patel, urging him to let survivors of racist harassment lead the club’s response to the workplace culture raised by Azeem Rafiq.

The letter accompanies a statement of solidarity to cricketers and other professional sports players who have experienced racism, which was voted on today at the Executive meeting of the TUC Regional Council, attended by representatives of Yorkshire’s major trade unions.

The TUC urges Lord Patel to let unions in to YCCC to support workers in challenging and changing the culture of silence that has allowed this issue to grow. In the letter, the TUC highlights that the YCCC is a workplace like any other, and that the club has a duty of care to all its employees, be they professional cricketers, groundskeepers, or bar staff.

The Chair of the TUC’s Regional Black Workers Committee, and Equity trade union Regional Officer Dominic Bascombe said:

“Cricket clubs are workplaces like any other. Staff at YCCC are entitled to turn up to work and be treated with dignity and respect. There can be no context that mitigates the racist incidents raised by Azeem Rafiq.

“The best way to end institutional racism and cultures of silence at work is for BME workers to speak together as a union, and for white colleagues to support them every step of the way. That is what it means to be in a union. It should never have come to this.”

TUC Regional Secretary Bill Adams said:  

“Trade unions stand ready to support BME workers who experience racism in the workplace. We hope that Lord Patel considers our offer of support. We look forward to hearing from YCCC on how trade unions can support all workers at the club, from cricketers to bar staff, feel safer at work.”


Editors note

- The full text of the letter and the statement of solidarity are available here:


Dear Lord Patel,

Yorkshire’s trade unions offer solidarity in the fight against racism

We write to offer our solidarity in the fight against racism in the workplace, and to emphasise the duty of care all employers have to provide a safe place of work for their staff.

YCCC is a workplace. No-one who goes to work in the morning should expect to suffer racism or harassment. All workers at YCCC, be they professional cricketers, or the hospitality staff and groundskeepers, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

The TUC in Yorkshire & the Humber is the voice of our region at work. We exist to improve working life and promote equality for everyone and we bring together more than 600,000 working people across Yorkshire who make up our 48 member unions.

At our Executive meeting of the Regional Council of the TUC today, we passed the enclosed motion relating to racism at the workplace in the context of professional sport.

We write to welcome your appointment and offer you a helping hand to help resolve issues of racism at YCCC. A top down approach, where management impose changes, will never address the deep problems that exist.

Solutions must be created with and by workers themselves. For YCCC that means listening to BME cricketers, as well as all the other staff that make up the club.

This is the foundational principle of trade unionism: collective demands made by the workforce. We ask you to invite trade unions in, to help build a better club, which is safe for everyone, and where racism will always be unacceptable.


On behalf of the Regional Council of the TUC

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary, TUC in Yorkshire & the Humber
Dominic Bascombe
, Convenor, TUC Regional Black Workers Forum
Harriet Eisner, Convenor, TUC Regional Equality Forum

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