We use cookies to ensure that we can give you the best user experience. By continuing to use our website you are consenting to their use. Find out more.

What language do you need?

Breaking Down Barriers

Black Members' Development Programme 

In 2023 Usdaw set up the Breaking Down Barriers programme to support Black members to become more active and visible in the Union. 
Applications for this year’s intake are now open and run until 15 July 2024. 

The Union set up Breaking Down Barriers because like all Unions, we have a problem with the under-representation of Black members in Union roles and at Union events.

Across the trade union movement Black workers are underrepresented as union reps, branch officers, activists and more.

We want to break down the barriers that stand in the way of Black members getting more involved.
Breaking Down Barriers is an education and skills programme which gives Black reps the chance to develop their skills and knowledge over the course of ten months. Members are not seconded to the programme but need release to attend classroom and non-classroom sessions.    
This year there are 18 reps on the programme and the majority have already become more active in the union and wider labour movement.
What do we mean by the term Black 
We use Black to describe people who have a common experience of racism. We know the term Black is not perfect and it is not used as a descriptive term (just as white is not). But in order to get a sense of collective solidarity we need to identify things that we share in order to build a movement for change.

Put simply the term Black includes any member who is at risk of racism and of being treated less favourably because of their skin colour.  This term therefore includes a wide range of members including Asian members, African and Caribbean members, and Chinese members.

This year the programme is open to reps who have completed their basic shop steward, H&S rep or ULR rep training with Usdaw.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in getting more involved in Usdaw, developing personal skills and connecting with other Black members we encourage you to put yourself forward.

Apply here >>

If you have any questions at all about the programme, feel free to contact the Equalities Section at Usdaw Head Office on 0161 224 2804 or by email.

Breaking Down Barriers

Watch the video to learn more.

TUC - Ant-Racism Tracker

The TUC are taking forward the work of their Anti-Racism Taskforce, by launching the Anti-Racism Tracker.

Find out more >>


Read online: Download:

Free prize draw

Enter our free prize draw to win a £100 Love2Shop Gift Voucher courtesy of Usdaw Protect.

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