UNISON calls on government to act on ‘systemic racism’

UNISON is calling on the UK government to take action on the “systemic structural racism” that has been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement from general secretary Dave Prentis, which also comes against the background of global Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by police in the US, specifically calls on the government to:

  • implement the recommendations from the Windrush Lessons Learned review by Wendy Williams from March this year;
  • implement the Lammy Review of the criminal justice system from 2017;
  • bring into force in England section 1 of the Equality Act 2010, the Public Sector Socio-Economic duty, which is already enacted in Scotland and Wales;
  • act on Theresa May’s comprehensive Race Disparity Audit, which was published in 2017.

Dave Prentis said: “The devastating COVID death toll has exposed inequality and racism across work and wider society. We will continue to fight for safe workplaces using all our means.

“The UK government response has been slow and inadequate, and we do not need more reviews and commissions. Government action is needed today to protect Black workers and communities.

“This union says loud and clear that Black Lives Matter. We are prepared to be judged on our actions. We demand our governments do the same.”

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