Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fighting racism at work

Following on from the last post, the print edition of the South London Press (with which the website will no doubt catch up) today reports UNISON's having uncovered the 15% race pay gap in Lambeth Council.

It is a shame that Council officers gave a defensive response to press enquiries on this issue and I can't believe that the political administration will support an ostrich-like attitude to the evidence that (on average) white workers earn more than £5,000 a year more than black workers in the same organisation.

This sort of evidence of the impact of racism in the real world of work is precisely what the Race Relations Amendment Act and the Statutory Duties Order were intended to expose. Only by being honest about the reality of racism at work can we hope to confront and change it. Employers need to learn that, whilst UNISON wants to work constructively with them, we will not hesitate to tell the truth if they show any reluctance to do so.

I am very pleased that Lambeth UNISON will be putting this important issue on the agenda of the UNISON Greater London Regional Council, where I hope for unanimous support for sensible proposals to tackle this racist injustice across the whole city.

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