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BME people still facing racism and discrimination at work, says TUC

With tens of thousands of people expected to march through the streets of London today (Saturday) to protest about racism, the TUC is highlighting some of the many ways Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) people still face discrimination at work.

There are currently 3.2 million BME employees in the UK, but they still encounter many problems at work. These include:

  1. Employment pay gap: black workers get paid 8.3% less than white workers – costing them an average of £1.15 an hour.
  2. Qualifications pay gap: black workers whose highest qualifications are A-levels earn 10% less than their white peers – missing out on an average £1.20 per hour.
  3. Type of employment: BME workers are over a third more likely than white workers to be stuck in temporary or zero-hours work.
  4. Abuse at work: more than a third (37%) of BME workers have been bullied, abused or singled out at work.
  5. Effects of racism: TUC polling shows that over half (57%) of BME women affected by bullying and harassment have suffered mental health problems.

Later today tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of London to join the Stand Up To Racism march. The TUC says the demonstration will make an important statement that trade unions and other organisations are opposed to the increasing levels of racism and xenophobia in Britain today.

The march takes place ahead of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Wednesday 21 March.

Speakers at Saturday’s event include Diane Abbott MP on migrants and refugees, journalist Gary Younge on Trump and the rise of the far-right, and Emma Dent Coad MP on why Grenfell survivors needs housing and justice.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Racism has no place in the modern workplace – or wider society. Bullying, harassment and victimisation is undermining, humiliating, and can have a huge effect on mental health.

“Employers must take a zero-tolerance attitude to racism and treat every complaint seriously. It’s a scandal that so few black and Asian workers feel their bosses are not dealing with racism properly.

“Anyone who has faced discrimination at work should talk to their union rep or join a trade union. We all have a responsibility to call out racism wherever we see it.”

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