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STUC Black Workers' Conference: Usdaw challenging racism at work and in the labour market

Date: 05 October 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has a delegation of members promoting two motions at this year’s Scottish Trades Union Congress Black Workers’ Conference in Glasgow this weekend; challenging racism in the labour market and at work, where it impacts on health and safety.
The union is calling on the Scottish Government to:
  • Introduce legislation requiring employers to analyse and publish ethnicity data on progression, employment type and pay
  • Work with trade unions to establish targets and develop practical action to address race inequality in the workforce
  • Monitor the effectiveness of existing H&S and equality legislation, take steps to ensure it is enforced and hold employers to account where they fail to do so.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Racism and discrimination in the labour market means that black workers are more likely to be unemployed.  Evidence cited in the Equality and Human Rights Commission research ‘How fair is Scotland’ shows that despite having the highest levels of educational attainment people from black communities are twice as likely to be unemployed. 

“Once in paid work black workers are more likely to be in temporary, insecure and exploitative jobs. On average race discrimination in the labour market means that black workers are worse off by £1.15 an hour. Whilst conference welcomes the publication of the Scottish Government’s race equality strategy ‘Addressing race inequality’, we are disappointed that the recommendations do not include a commitment requiring employers to publish meaningful data on the ethnicity pay gap.

“Racism has far from disappeared in workplaces in Scotland and of the damaging impact it has on black workers’ physical, emotional and psychological well-being.  Tackling racism is rightly understood as an ‘equality issue’ but given the damaging impact racism has on the health and safety of black workers, particularly in workplaces where it goes unchecked, it should also be understood as a serious health and safety issue.  Health and safety legislation requires employers to do whatever is reasonably practicable to ensure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm.

“We wish the delegates well in their deliberations this weekend and look forward to working collectively with affiliates through the STUC to challenge racism in Scotland.”

Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the 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 further information please contact Usdaw’s Media Officer, David Williams on: 0161 249 2469, 07798 696 603 or by e-mail to david.a.williams@usdaw.org.uk
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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