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Statement from the West Yorkshire Association of Trades Union Councils

Black Lives Matter: Local trades unions call for justice

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

West Yorkshire Association of Trades Union Councils (WYATUC) expresses solidarity with those campaigning for justice and real, meaningful equality for Black people. 

We stand with all who are appalled at yet another very public police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the US. 

We applaud West Yorkshire’s Trades Union Councils’ support and stewarding at demonstrations that have taken place in our county and their role in trying to keep people there as safe and socially distanced as possible.

West Yorkshire Association of Trades Union Councils recognises that Black and Minority Ethnic citizens in this country face inequality, discrimination or institutional racism in many ways including:

  • Over 1,700 people have died after contact with UK police since 1990 with BAME people disproportionately affected. However, between 1995 and 2015 not one police officer has been prosecuted over a black person's death in custody;
  • The disproportionate numbers of deaths from COVID-19 within the BAME community;
  • The disproportionate numbers of young black men and women amongst low paid workers, suffering poverty pay, insecure contracts, bullying and injuries at work;
  • The wrongful deportation of people from the Windrush Generation;
  • The lack of content about the realities of Imperialism and Colonialism in the school curriculum;
  • Three years after the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed several Black and Ethnic Minority lives amongst its casualties, the government has failed to meet its pledge to remove flammable cladding from 2,000 buildings by this month.

Bob Stoker, chair of WYATUC and Joint Secretary of Kirklees Stand Up to Racism said:

“West Yorkshire Association of Trades Union Councils sends our solidarity to the millions of Americans protesting police brutality and racism across the USA.  We welcome the unity seen between black and white people in horror at the murder of George Floyd as well as the increased struggle to defeat the cancer of racism both abroad and in this country. We need black and white people to continue to stand peacefully together for justice until racism is eradicated.”

West Yorkshire Association of Trades Union Councils calls for:

  • True accountability of the police on both sides of the Atlantic for their racist actions;
  • An independent public enquiry into the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on BAME communities as proposed in Diane Abbott MP’s Early Day Motion 498;
  • An end to low pay and Zero Hours contracts – we urge workers to join a trade union in order to press for better pay and conditions at work;
  • Compensation for all unlawful deportations; Justice for Grenfell.