Speaker after speaker condemned the appalling treatment by this Tory government of the Windrush generation, as conference pledged to continue to fully support our Windrush members and to demand a fairer immigration system that recognises the vital contribution that migrants make to our communities.
For many it is a very personal story, with speakers talking movingly of their own families’ experiences at the hands of this government and its racist immigration system.
UNISON member Michael Braithwaite is one such person.
After 50 years in Britain he lost his job as a result of the “hostile environment” policy of Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
He is not the only one and it has been devastating for people who have devoted most of their working lives to this country.
Supporting the hard-hitting composite, UNISON Lothian Health’s Rakiya Sulieman, reminded delegates that the Windrush generation were invited to the UK by the then government.
They came from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and from other African countries from 1942 to 1971 to help build this country and to fill the gap created by the labour shortage.
“It is unbelievable that they have had such appalling experiences,” slammed Rakiya.
“The manner that these people have been treated was not acceptable then, is not acceptable now and will not be acceptable in the future,” said Rakiya, urging the union to work with all allies in the trade union movement to address this horrific behaviour.