The inaugural meeting of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) anti racist network took place in London last November.
It was attended by about 50 people, The overwhelming majority of them were migrant and migrant advocate organisations’ members.
The discussion stressed the importance that all workers, whatever their immigration status is, get organised to stop exploitation, and showed a general wish to see a permanent network created and coordinated by the TUC.
A number of thought provoking speakers were heard (including Emmanuelle Andrews, Liberty; Fizza Qureshi, Migrants Rights Network; Gargi Bhattacharyya, TUC Race Relations Committee; Liam Shrivastava, Institute of Race Relations; Sereena Abbassi, gal-dem; Sophie Chauhan, Dalston Superstore). The Government’s anti migrant and racist legislation was condemned and it was evident that the TUC and individual Unions accepted that they must do much more, both in challenging racism and organising precarious workers.
A number of participants including Status Now and some of our supporters emphasised the requirement to get nationality status and regularisation campaigns into the heart of union work.
The creation of this network signs an important advancement in the TUC’s increasing commitment to fight against the hostile environment and any form of racism.
Status Now for All has always stressed the importance of solidarity and unity between the workers’ movement and the anti-racist movement. We have worked hard in the last years to defend the rights of undocumented and precarious migrant workers and to involve Britain’s unions in our campaign for status now for all, proposing common initiatives in defence of migrants’ rights to the TUC anti-racism task group and national and local Union branches.
We welcome the establishment of this anti-racist network. Its development in 2023 will be crucial in the battle to defeat the renewed government attacks on the rights of migrants and of all workers in the UK.