Socialist Worker

Unison black workers’ conference

Issue No. 2084

Around 350 delegates gathered at the Unison union’s black workers’ conference in Glasgow last week to discuss strategies for winning liberation.

In the debates on the victimisation of black union activists, and the lack of career progression available to black workers there was agreement that the union was not doing enough.

These were the two prioritised motions at the conference

Union general secretary Dave Prentis opened the conference saying that the union was attempting to “learn lessons” from previous conferences which had criticised the leadership of the union.

He went on to discuss Gordon Brown’s government, saying that the union would be failing its members if it did not take action over pay in 2008.

Over 30 people attended a fringe meeting at the conference in support of leading Unison health activist Yunus Bakhsh.

Yunus has been suspended from work for more than 18 months but his union leadership, fearing the left in its own ranks, so far has failed to give him its full support.

The meeting was unanimous in its anger at the leadership’s position that the Race Relations Amendment Act does not apply to the relationship between Unison and its members.

Many of those who attended agreed to help raise money for Yunus’s campaign in their workplaces and communities.

Rush donations and messages of support to the Defend Yunus Bakhsh campaign, 46c Lawe Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2EN. Email

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Article information

Tue 15 Jan 2008, 17:58 GMT
Issue No. 2084
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