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Usdaw calls for an end to racism and hate crime in the wake of the Brexit vote

Date: 28 June 2016 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has today expressed deep concern about reports of threats and abuse against migrant workers and people from minority ethnic groups and calls for calm and respect.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “It is deeply disturbing that some people have taken the vote to leave the EU as a green light to abuse others who they believe don’t have the right to be in the country. That is utterly unacceptable behaviour and needs to be stamped out immediately.

“Last Thursday’s vote does not mean that EU nationals lose their right to live and work in our country. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just plain wrong. Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our economy, culture and wider society. They, like everyone, must be treated with respect and allowed to go about their lives free from fear of abuse.

“Usdaw reps have for many years been providing support for members who face violence, threats and abuse and they will continue do so in this challenging period after the referendum. The result showed that the country is deeply divided, so we must work together to heal the rift, overcome the uncertainties we now face and get the best deal for the UK.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers