Britain’s largest union, Unite has called for cross-party political action to condemn those who have abused migrant communities and workers in the days since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
The union also vowed that it will be redoubling its efforts in workplaces and communities to challenge those seeking to spread fear and hate today (Monday 27 June) after numerous incidents of hate crime and racial abuse were reported over the weekend.
Pledging to support communities and workers of all nationalities, Unite said the flames of xenophobia and racism fanned by some during the EU referendum campaign must not be allowed to sow division in our communities.
Commenting Unite national officer for equalities and steel Harish Patel said: “Unite stands against the xenophobes and racists now acting to bring fear to people and the communities that were living in harmony in the UK.
“The numerous incidents of hate crime and racial abuse seen since the referendum result take our country back to more divided times. Those who brought poison and division to the EU referendum debate should not just hang their heads in shame but also make it abundantly clear that they condemn the racism and prejudice now showing its face. This poison must not be allowed to take root.
“Unite and the trade union movement will be playing its part, as we do every day in workplaces across the country, to bring people together because divided we do fall.
“But it is also beholden upon all our political parties to state very clearly that this behaviour has no place whatsoever in a modern, decent society, and to provide the agencies charged with supporting community cohesion the resources they need to bring people together.
“Over the coming days and weeks Unite will continue to support communities and workers of all nationalities and backgrounds. These are our members, our colleagues, our comrades, our neighbours and our friends. We shall not turn away.
“Our nation’s values of tolerance and respect will not be destroyed by those who sow division. People should be in no doubt that Unite will continue to confront racism and tackle the haters who seek divide our communities.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.