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Unite Announces Measures To Tackle Race Equality Gap

Unite have announced a new initiative, “Race Forward” to tackle race inequality in the UK. The union highlights the extent of race inequality by quoting Office of National Statistics data, showing a 15% per cent gap between the employment rates of Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers (BAME) and their white colleagues.

Austerity measures are likely to put a further strain on BAME groups as competition intensifies for fewer jobs. The Union is responding by driving the “Race Forward” initiative through its network of union representatives. The action pack created by the union focuses on 8 key priority areas.
  • Closing the ethnic minority employment gap
  • Tackling the pay gap for black workers
  • Fighting for equality of opportunity in promotion
  • Dealing effectively with Racial Harassment, Discrimination and bullying
  • Promoting fairness for black women workers
  • Negotiating for Union Equality Reps
  • Ensuring fair treatment of migrant workers
  • Organising and recruiting black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) workers into Unite the union
Just last year nearly 6,000 race discrimination cases were heard by Employment Tribunals, with countless more being settled before that stage, reflecting the extent of race equality issues at work today (source Employment Tribunal and EAT statistics 2009-10).
 
Collette Cork-Hurst, Unite national officer for equalities, comments:
 
"Unite’s ‘Race Forward’ campaign will help us take real action. We are determined that our union reps are equipped to take discrimination issues up with employers, if need be using the legal backing of the new Equality Act to ensure the decent treatment of our members.”
 
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