UNISON members bring hope to refugees

Norah Ademeyo
Norah Adeyemo

#ulgc16 In a moving debate, local government delegates made it clear that UNISON welcomes refugees and UNISON will take steps to ensure that support services for refugees being resettled in the UK are properly resourced and that  staff are well trained and supported.

Delegates emphatically rejected the anti immigration rhetoric which has featured heavily in the EU referendum debate and backed a UNISON “Refugees Welcome” campaign and support to initiatives to support refugees in the UK and the rest of the world.

Supporting the amended motion, Glasgow’s Norah Adeyemo described how she had visited the ‘jungle’ in Calais on behalf of the Union to deliver supplies and was confronted by appalling conditions.

“People are living in deplorable conditions. Tent after tent infested with rats, with no running water, set in stinking, infected mud.”

She spoke to refugees who asked, “Where is the humanity in Europe?”

Norah said, “’I was proud to be able to tell them that thousands of ordinary UNISON members along with other anti-racist organisations are marching and demonstrating in support of refugees. They said “you’ve given us hope””.

The motion highlighted the essential work that UNISON members do to support refugees and the need to work with employers and government departments to ensure that members have the training and support needed to support refugees.

Local Government Reports by Kate Ramsden, Marie Quigley and John Stevenson

Local Government Conference Home