Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Slavery then - racism now

I was glad to see our General Secretary reminding us about the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. I understand why there is an emphasis on a proper apology for this crime against humanity, but in terms of effective reparation we need to step up the fight against the continuing consequences of slavery.

I am very pleased that UNISON Conference 2005 called for a National Day for Remembrance of Slavery – now we need to take the debate forward and make the links with the fight against the underdevelopment of African and Caribbean nations by global capitalism, and against deep rooted institutional racism at work and in our communities.

When we look to our next UNISON Conference we must give a high priority to motions 23 and 25 from the Black Members Conference, which deal with different aspects of institutional racism at work. Those of us working, and representing workers, in multi-racial workforces know that racism is alive and well in today’s workplace, with black workers disadvantaged in recruitment and promotion and over represented in the disciplinary process.

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