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Solidarity with the PFA

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Dear Maheta,

Solidarity with the PFA

We write to congratulate the England team and to stand in solidarity against the disgusting racist abuse that was directed towards Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho.

The TUC is the voice of Britain at work. We exist to improve working life and promote equality for everyone and we bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions, including all the members of the England team.

Before the tournament began, Gareth Southgate set out his vision for an England team that was about more than football, that it was the duty of this England team “to continue to interact with the public on matters such as equality, inclusivity and racial injustice”. Values of course that are core trade union values.

With Gareth Southgate, this young side have provided the nation with hope and a togetherness which has not always been there and throughout the tournament we saw an England team that consistently acted with grace, verve and courage.

In his pre-tournament letter Gareth went on to say “the reality is that the result is just a small part of it. When England play, there's much more at stake than that. It’s about how we conduct ourselves on and off the pitch, how we bring people together, how we inspire and unite, how we create memories that last beyond the 90 minutes. That last beyond the summer. That last forever.”

On Sunday night, as we united to watch the finals, I reflected on the factors that made this particular tournament feel so different to previous ones, particularly the sense of unity, hope and optimism the England team had brought to us all. A team that was made up of players that are proudly working class, multi-ethnic and multi-faith. And a true reflection of the wonderful diversity of working people in towns and cities up and down the country.

The disgusting and shameful racist abuse that was directed at your members has no place in society or the workplace.

There is no more important priority for our trade union movement today than to do whatever it takes to stand up against racism and to secure racial justice at work. Wherever and whenever racism exists, wherever the conditions exist which enable racism to flourish, we must be ready to act and to call it out. But we need to do more than speak out – we must also make a difference.

Trade union members have a record of strongly opposing racism. The movement can be more visible in clocking up wins against racism, and make the challenging of racism at work as integral as defending and improving terms and conditions. There is strong commitment across the trade union movement to put unions at the forefront in the struggle for race equality.

Yours sincerely

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC
Christina McAnea, General Secretary, UNISON
Harish Patel, National Equalities Officer, Unite
Gary Smith, General Secretary, GMB
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, NEU
Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, NEU
Paddy Lillis, General Secretary, Usdaw
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT
Dave Ward, General Secretary, CWU
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS
Mike Clancy, General Secretary, Prospect
Dr Jo Grady, General Secretary, UCU
Mick Lynch, General Secretary, RMT
Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, EIS
Karen Middleton, Chief Executive, CSP
Jon Skewes, Executive Director, External Relations, RCM
Paul Whiteman, General Secretary, NAHT

Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU
Roy Rickhuss CBE, General Secretary, Community
Horace Trubridge, General Secretary, Musicians’ Union
Steve Gillan, General Secretary, POA
Richard Evans OBE, Chief Executive Officer, The Society and College of Radiographers
Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, National Union of Journalists
Ged Nichols, General Secretary, Accord
Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF
Dave Penman, General Secretary, FDA
Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA
Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, BFAWU
Mark Dickinson, General Secretary, Nautilus International
Tim Rose, General Secretary, Nationwide Group Staff Union
Steve Jamieson, CEO and General Secretary, The Royal College of Podiatry
Robert Monks, General Secretary, United Road Transport Union
Andy Burman, Chief Executive and General Secretary, BDA
Linda Rolph, General Secretary, Advance
Ian Lawrence, General Secretary, Napo
Brian Linn, General Secretary, Aegis
Kate Fallon, General Secretary, Association of Educational Psychologists
Paul Donaldson, General Secretary, HCSA
Ellie Peers, General Secretary, WGGB
Michele Gregson, General Secretary,
NSEAD Zita Holbourne, Joint National Chair, Artists' Union England
Michael Schwaabe, President, AFA
Chris JR Kitchen, General Secretary, National Union of Mineworkers
George McGrath, Chief Executive, NARS
Gloria Mills on behalf of the TUC Race Relations Committee
Dave Allan, Co-Chair, TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee
Ann Galpin, Co-Chair, TUC Disabled Workers' Committee
Alex Graham, Chair, TUC Young Workers Forum

Maria Exall, Chair, TUC LGBT+ Committee 

Sue Ferns, Chair, TUC Womens' Committee

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