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Breaking Down Barriers

Black Members' Development Programme 

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

Usdaw’s new education and skills programme aims to break down the barriers that stand in the way of Black members getting more involved.
The programme is open to Black members – this means any member who is at risk of racism and of being treated less favourably because of their skin colour. This includes a wide range of members including Asian members, African and Caribbean members, Chinese members and members of mixed heritage or multiple ethnicity.

Applications will open in early May. For this first, pilot year the programme will be open to reps who have completed their basic shop steward, H&S rep or ULR rep training with Usdaw. We will open up the programme to all Black members in Usdaw from 2024.

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 >>

Why do we use the term ‘Black’? 
Usdaw, the TUC and anti-racism campaigning organisations 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.

The union regularly consults with Black members about the language we use as it is constantly changing.

We don’t use Black Minority Ethnic (BME) or Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) as minority ethnic in these definitions can often include people from white ethnic minorities such as people from Eastern Europe, which would be confusing in terms of eligibility and objectives of the programme. It can also imply that people are always in a minority, which we know is not the case.

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.

TUC - Building an Anti-Racist Trade Union Movement

Unions are taking action to build an anti-racist movement. Usdaw supports the TUC’s anti-racism manifesto pledges.

Find out more >>


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