Standing up for workers’ rights and against racism

Naomi Junnor
Naomi Junnor

#stuc17 The STUC says it is time to turn the tide against the racist, misogynistic, disablist and other divisive language used by right wing politicians before and after the Brexit referendum.

The STUC General Council will now explore new ways to challenge racism, build a broad coalition against racism, xenophobia and bigotry by working with organisations like Hope Note Hate and Stand Up To Racism, and share information between unions about effective workplace campaigns

UNISON’s Naomi Junnor told delegates that unions were uniquely placed to challenge racism: “The workplace is where our job is complete if we make the effort to challenge all incidents of racism and to promote activities that offer direct support to refugees”, she said.

In a 14 point plan to organise to protect workers’ rights and stand up to racism and discrimination, the Congress in Aviemore warned that workers face a “perfect storm” of attacks on employment rights and threats to human rights.

As the economic effect of Brexit becomes real, unions must be ready to resist right-wing politicians who will use this to further raise racial tensions and scapegoat migrant workers.

Naomi spoke from personal experience of recent events where her Jewish identity was at the centre of comments made.

She said: “I haven’t had to rise to such ignorance since I was a teenager. Two separate incidents revealing how ignorance perpetuates fear but allows for those looking for an easy scapegoat to be justified in their intolerance.

“It remains our responsibility to challenge scaremongering and show our strength in welcoming diversity, opposing racism and nurturing tolerance.”

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