22nd STUC Black Workers Conference

October 5th 2018

Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th October 2018

Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Clydebank

The Scottish Trades Union Congress 22nd Annual Black Workers Conference takes place this weekend in Clydebank, where the major issues affecting black workers in the labour market will be debated by around 60 delegates from workplaces across Scotland.

In the week that the Crown Office announced that there will be no criminal charges against officers involved in the death of Fife man Sheku Bayoh, it is patently clear that racism and discrimination is alive and well in Scotland.

The trade union movement stands in solidarity with Sheku’s family in their fight for justice and we fully expect emergency motions to be submitted to Conference this weekend to set us on a clear course to demand a public enquiry from the Scottish Government.

Conference will debate a range of motions over the weekend on organising black workers and building fighting unions fit for the future, on tackling racism and fascism, supporting migrants and refugees, promoting fair work and equality, and improving public services.

The Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) will move a motion on the Windrush Scandal, calling on the STUC to lobby the Scottish Government to ensure that devolved services, such as vital healthcare or social assistance, are not denied to people affected by the scandal.

Both the STUC Black Workers Committee and the Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) will highlight the horrifying rise of racism and fascism across Europe fuelled by the scapegoating of Black and ethnic minorities. They will call on the STUC to work with the TUC, the Welsh TUC, and the ICTU in Northern Ireland to build a coordinated UK wide campaign to fight back.

UNISON Scotland will note that employers across Scotland are failing in their duty of care to workers with mental health problems. UNISON research has uncovered that black workers are 50% more likely to experience mental health problems at work.

On the eve of Conference (5 Oct), the STUC will hold its annual Black History Month Lecture. “This History of The St. Andrew’s Day Anti-Racism March & Rally” will be delivered by Dr. Talat Ahmed from the University of Edinburgh.

Suki Sangha, Chair of the STUC Black Workers Committee and this year’s Conference, commented:

“There is something incredibly heart wrenching about watching a family having to plead for justice. The repetition of the trauma, the journalists, the constant battle. Sheku, his family, his friends, and his community will not be far from our minds as we meet for our Conference this weekend.

“It is often said that Scotland is a welcoming place for black and ethnic minority people. Our day to day experience says otherwise. Our motions to conference say otherwise. We need to make the aspiration a reality. And trade unions are key to achieving this. In today’s world being against racism is not enough, we need to be anti-racist and dismantle the systematic oppression that is limiting our lives, our access to decent work, and our access to justice and public services.”

ENDS

A programme outlining speakers and times and an agenda setting out the motions being considered is available here .

On Friday 5th October the STUC Black Workers Committee will also hold its Black History Month lecture. The lecture will be held in the STUC Centre, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6NG, at 6pm-7pm and will be delivered by Talat Ahmed , Lecturer in South Asian History at the University of Edinburgh and Convenor Stand up to Racism in Scotland. The lecture will be on the topic of the History of the St Andrew’s Day March.

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