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Wednesday 15 May 2024

FDA at the TUC Black Workers’ Conference 2024

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FDA delegation L to R Haresh Bhatoa, Rita Gupta, and Sajidah Ahmad

In April, the FDA sent a delegation of three members to the TUC Black Workers’ Conference 2024 held at Congress House. 

Every year the TUC hosts a series of equality conferences that supplement the general work of TUC Congress. These conferences focus on supporting the advancement of issues that disproportionally impact minority groups. These conferences are a fantastic opportunity for our members to engage with the wider trade union movement and to share issues and priorities with other unions.

Speakers addressing the TUC Black Workers’ Conference this year included Executive Secretary of the Arab Trade Union Confederation Hind Benammarand and General Secretary of the NASUWT, The Teachers’ Union and Chair of the Anti-racism Taskforce Dr Patrick Roach.

The FDA’s delegation lead, Haresh Bhatoa, who served on the FDA’s 2022-24 Executive Committee, said:

“Fire, passion and heart remains at the centre of the movement at the TUC Black Workers Conference.

“Having never been a delegate before, the sense of community and warmth over the course of the conference has been immeasurable, hearing from all sectors on key issues such as diversity in television, the ethnicity pay gap and the need to mandate reporting has renewed our sense of urgency, within the FDA of the need for change across sectors.

“All delegates were able to learn from one another, share experience, stories and strategies for change.
“I was most proud of my colleague Rita, who spoke in support of a motion on ’Structural racism in employment practices’”
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Rita Gupta speaking on the motion 'Structural racism in employment practices'

 

Rita Gupta said:

“Attending the TUC Black Workers Conference as an FDA delegate was an enlightening and empowering experience.  Stepping into the bustling hall filled with vibrant energy and impassioned voices I felt a sense of solidarity and community.

“Throughout the conference I had the privilege of engaging with reps and members of other unions with diverse perspectives - listening to their stories and personal struggles, and learning from key speakers and the organisers.  

“I was privileged to speak on the motion ‘Structural racism in employment practices’, which was nerve-wracking as it was my first time, but also deeply fulfilling as an individual.  I felt a compelling need to share my own encounters with racism and discrimination in the workplace.  It was a humbling experience as I saw nodding heads as I was talking and others commending me for being brave, which reaffirmed my commitment to fighting for justice and equality alongside my fellow black workers. 

“I attended the ‘Organising to break down barriers’ workshop which was an interesting session to discuss as a group the barriers, blockages and challenges faced by black reps and how can we address these. 
“Recounting my experience and sharing photos of me on the stage with my family was very rewarding as they were amazed and admired my strength in being able to do this – not just for myself, but for future generations as well.”

Get involved 

If members want to help shape the union’s equality work, they can apply to be part of the FDA delegation for TUC Black Workers’ Conference and other equality conferences in 2025. Calls for applications will go out to all members in late summer/autumn 2024.

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