20 February 2023: The president of BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union), Ian Hodson, was one of the participants in the Status Now Network strategy weekend (held on 27th – 29th January).
He found it to be ‘a very inspirational event meeting real leaders and fighters for justice, people who are suffering real hardship but show incredible strength and resilience’.
He wrote this contribution announcing the motion approved by the BFAWU executive committee and stressing their strong commitment to the status now for all campaign:
Having recently attended the Status Now strategy weekend, I was pleased to report back to my national executive about the positive time I spent taking part in developing how we build the campaign and solidarity. I am pleased that our executive has adopted the following motion which will now go to our conference in June this year. It reads as follows:
‘Conference condemns the continued political and physical attacks on refugees, asylum seekers and others without their status in the UK. Conference accepts that many people, even with the right to work, are often in precarious situations due to their immigration status. Conference reaffirms the right of all workers to employment which is safe and secure and to have access to justice against labour exploitation in workplaces. We believe that migrants who are undocumented and working in the UK have the right to join trade unions and be protected from exploitation and modern slavery. To this end, Conference supports the call made by a number of migrant bodies, anti-racist, poverty eradication groups and others that all undocumented and people with insecure immigration status residing in the UK should be granted indefinite leave to remain.’
We resolve to support the statusnow4all campaign and encourage our branches to join the growing coalition of organisations calling for the United Kingdom to act NOW and grant #LeaveToRemain to all undocumented migrant people.
We support all future petitions that promote the statusnow4all call and the aims and objectives of StatusNow4All .
The BFAWU has been organising since 1847, its membership reflects society with a proud history of inclusivity. Our recent victories include defeating the use of zero hours contracts at Hovis, forcing McDonalds to pay its biggest ever wage increase, after organising the first ever strikes in the UK, and now being forced to sign a landmark legal agreement with the EHRC on sexual harassment. Taking on Tim Martin, the boss of Wetherspoons, winning night shift rates and raising pay following the first ever strike at the outbreak of Covid; he suggested he wasn’t going to pay workers until he received payments from government, but through our members collective action all workers received pay and didn’t have to wait. Sometimes, when it seems impossible to change, when the feeling of bitterness and hate seems to be all around, something happens that shows us that change is possible, that flickering flame of hope is still burning.
We need to build our powerful alliance of unity, show our strength and determination to ensure humanity wins.