Unite, the UK’s leading trade union, and Birmingham council will come together tomorrow (Tuesday 11 March) to sign a ground-breaking agreement to promote a more tolerant and inclusive workplace.

WHEN: Tuesday 11 May 15:00

WHERE: 30 Jenners Road, Birmingham B7 4EH.(outside)

Birmingham council will become the first employer in the West Midlands to sign up to Unite’s Unity Over Division charter. The charter has been launched as part of the union’s campaign with employers to tackle racism and intolerance in the workplace, alongside challenging head on a narrative of hate and division developing within local communities with the support of far right groups.

Signing the charter on behalf of Birmingham council will be its leader Cllr Ian Ward. Unite will be represented at the signing ceremony by Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner, who leads for the union on the charter, as well as on anti-racism work, and West Midlands regional secretary Annmarie Kilcline.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The philosophy behind the Unity over Division charter is truly groundbreaking. When unions and employers work together real change can be achieved.

"I want to congratulate Birmingham council for being prepared to work with Unite and its workforce on this initiative and congratulate our stewards, members and officers whose commitment and work with the council has brought us together today to sign the charter.

“While we know that racism and discrimination has no place in the workplace, far too often the comments and actions of some, often disguised as ‘banter’, cause hurt and upset to others.

“As a result of signing this charter Birmingham council and Unite will work together to challenge this kind of culture and ensure that all our workplaces are safe, dignified and respectful places to work for everyone.”

Unite regional secretary Annmarie Kilcline said:“Unite welcomes the signing of the first ever Unity over Division charter by a major employer in the West Midlands.

“This charter demonstrates that ensuring racial equality is at the heart of Unite’s industrial agenda and demonstrates the union’s commitment to stamp out racism.

“I am immensely proud that Unite, together with Birmingham council, is leading the way to strive for inclusivity and race equality by signing this charter.

“Unite is working with other employers to ensure that they not only sign the charter but take the necessary actions to help ensure dignity at work.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Unite’s Unity over Division Charter sets out five core organisational principles which are aimed at building more inclusive and harmonious workplaces. 

  • Unite and the employer will each appoint an inclusion champion who will be the lead person for the Unity over Division agenda. With the support of Unite and the employer their roles will be to collaboratively monitor, facilitate and promote workplace inclusion wherever possible
  • The employer will ensure that all staff members are given training on how to adhere to the company’s equality and diversity policy and will ensure that this document is reviewed annually
  • Unite and the employer will provide informative and up to date materials aimed at helping to promote equality and harmony within the workplace
  • Where there are local and national examples of hate crime and discrimination Unite and the employer will stand together to condemn such incidents

Where appropriate, Unite and the employer will work with other agencies and organisations to promote cohesion both inside and outside the workplace. 

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.