20th STUC Black Workers’ Conference
Saturday 8 / Sunday 9 October 2016
Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk
The 20th Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Black Workers’ Conference will take place in the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 8-9 October). The Conference brings together Black trade unionists from a range of workplaces across Scotland to debate issues and motions of interest to them.
The theme of this year’s conference will be ‘Is Scotland Fairer for Black Workers?’ and motions to conference will explore some of the inequalities that still exist for Black Workers in the labour market, in education, in health and in the justice system. A major issue in the conference agenda will be Brexit and the effect that this is having on Black Workers, European migrants and race relations in Scotland and across the UK.
Speaking ahead of the conference Sofi Taylor, chair of the STUC Black Workers’ Committee said:
“This year’s conference comes at a time of great uncertainty for Black Workers across Scotland. The result of the EU referendum has created a lot of insecurity for workers, particularly those coming from EU countries. It is clear that tensions are rising and this is not helped by the sorts of speeches that we have seen coming from this week’s Tory Party Conference.
“The Trade Union movement recognises the value that migrant workers bring to our labour market and without the skills of migrant workers many of our public services simply would not function. While it is right to have a focus on investment and providing training and skills to young people across the UK, including Black Workers, we cannot accept the toxic rhetoric coming from the UK Government.
“Genuine fears around insecurity, low wages, and low quality work should not be used to divide workers, scapegoating migrants and creating a hostile environment for Black Workers. The trade union movement is clear that there is no place for racism in our workplaces or our society and we will continue to fight for the rights of all workers in Scotland.”
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance said:
“I am honoured to have been invited to the 20th STUC Black Workers’ Conference. The Scottish Government aims to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, religion or cultural background, is given an equal opportunity to succeed. Our success as a nation depends on building a society in which all of our people achieve, regardless of their background, and where the barriers to participation and opportunity are removed, and all our people are treated fairly and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
“Scotland’s diverse workforce make us stronger and more competitive, and the contribution of our minority ethnic workers and communities over successive generations has helped make Scotland the proud, successful and welcoming country it is today. So I want to recognise the contributions of our minority ethnic communities, and pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices that organisations and individuals continue to make, to promote inclusiveness and participation on an equal basis for all our citizens.
“It’s completely unacceptable that ethnic minorities face barriers to education, employment and housing. We will continue to work closely with public and third sector organisations to address these inequalities through our Race Equality Framework”.