Unite and Bristol council came together on Tuesday (July 20) to sign a ground-breaking agreement to promote a more tolerant and inclusive workplace.
Unite’s Unity Over Division 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 Bristol council was the Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees. Unite was 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 South West regional secretary Steve Preddy.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said, “Bristol City Council is proud to stand with Unite in choosing unity over division.
“In what has been a challenging year for public sector workers, and frontline workers in particular, it’s important we put our values front and centre,” he added.
“As an employer we’re committed to building a fairer workplace and by extension a fairer city.”
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 Bristol 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,” Turner added.
“While we know that racism and discrimination have no place in the workplace, far too often the comments and actions of some, often disguised as ‘banter’, cause hurt and upset to others,” he went on to say.
“As a result of signing this charter Bristol 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 Steve Preddy added, “Unite welcomes the signing of the Unity over Division charter by Bristol council.
“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,” he noted.
“I am immensely proud that Unite, together with Bristol 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.”
By Ryan Fletcher