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The murder of George Floyd is another example of the racism that blights US society. There are those who would claim that the situation in the UK is different, but that’s not true.

Last year, the UK Independent Office for Police Conduct recorded a total of 276 deaths during or following police contact. Black people are overrepresented in cases including use of police force.

Racism, in all its forms, remains a part of our society. It exists when Black workers get paid less than someone else doing the same job or when they’re passed over for jobs that similarly or less qualified colleagues are appointed to. It exists when you’re more likely to be fined for breaching Coronavirus restrictions if you’re Black. And it exists too in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities.

The current situation in America is horrifying, but sadly it is not surprising, nor is it unique to America.

That is why we all have to commit ourselves to be actively anti-racist in our attitudes and our behaviours. I am proud that UNISON has always been at the forefront of anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigns since our union’s earliest days.

Honouring the memory of George Floyd – and so many others – demands that we recommit ourselves to the fight against racism in all its forms. And I promise, your union will continue to play a leading role.

Dave Prentis
UNISON General Secretary

Jun 8, 2020