Diversity and Solidarity in Union – Black History Month 2023

17 Oct 2023
by David Hamblin


The union movement recognises that its strength lies in diversity and solidarity.

In the year of the 75th anniversary of Windrush we pay tribute to those who journeyed to make a new life for themselves. As part of our wider union family Gilly Anglin-Jarrett (Chair of the UNISON East Midlands Regional Black Members Network) has written movingly on the people who founded new lives and helped build the NHS. Society has been enriched by the contribution of Black workers and as representatives of an Allied Health Profession we pay special tribute to the contribution of those in the AHP sector.

The union movement stands as a proud advocate for Black Workers. As we look to the past we do so while acknowledging the times the union movement fell short of its principles. We acknowledge these failings and organise to ensure that the union movement best represents its members and ideals.

The BDA Trade Union will shortly begin elections for its National Executive Committee which includes a reserved BAME seat. We are keen to encourage those eligible to run for this role as its specific mandate plays such a vital role in informing the work of the BDA TU NEC. However the BDA Trade Union recognise that having Black voices constrained to a single reserved seat is insufficient. We want to encourage Black participation in all Trade Union functions whether its standing for election for the Trade Union NEC in other roles or putting yourself forward as a BDA Trade Union Representative in the workplace.

As an affiliate of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) the BDA Trade Union is part of a wider network of Black trade union activists via the TUC Black Workers Conference which contributes to the policy of the union movement and the TUC Anti-Racism Taskforce which produces invaluable research and resources in tackling racism in the workplace.

The union movement draws strength from its diversity and its solidarity. It is vital that we are able to reflect in our BDA Trade Union Reps the diversity in membership for which they campaign. This also enhances the breadth and depth of institutional memory of the union where we are able to build on the collective knowledge and experience of our membership and in turn enables us to better represent our members. Find out more about the BDA Trade Union and how you can get involved.