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Home  »   Latest News   »   PDA Delegates join the 26th Scottish Trade Unions Congress Black Workers Conference

PDA Delegates join the 26th Scottish Trade Unions Congress Black Workers Conference

During Black History month in October PDA members joined delegates from across the trade union movement in Clydebank to discuss and solve issues faced by all ethnic minority workers in Scotland.

Mon 7th November 2022 The PDA

The PDA was pleased to be represented at our first STUC Black Workers conference by Chand Kausar, a community pharmacy locum and PDA Scotland regional committee member, and Hassan Mussa, a PDA member and Boots pharmacist.

The PDA delegates got to speak to and hear from fellow workers, MSPs, STUC Officials, and community action groups. Chand Kausar also presented a motion to the conference on behalf of the PDA calling for the practice of racial debiasing of disciplinary processes to become more widespread. The motion was carried unanimously.

Delegates also heard other motions presented by delegates from other STUC-affiliated trade unions covering topics as wide-ranging as; racism in Scottish sports and schools, immigration reforms and the nationality and borders bill, time off for religious observances, being black in the UK music industry, islamophobia, racism as a workplace hazard, Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller history awareness, as well as slavery, colonialism, and reparations.

Some of the speakers included:

Roz Foyer, the general secretary of the STUC.

Satnam Ner, a former STUC president and a member of the STUC’s Black workers Committee

Jackie Baillie, a Labour MSP for Dumbarton constituency and Chand Kauser, a PDA member and locum pharmacist.

They also watched documentaries and had talks from various presenters, one particularly moving film and talk centred around the experiences of the Bayoh family and the unbearable suffering they have had to endure for the last 7 years. This is through the death of 31-year-old Sheku Bayoh after an incident in the street with Scottish Police in May 2015. The Bayoh family still have no justifiable answer to why their son died and continue to search for justice today while an independent public inquiry examines the events surrounding Sheku’s death, the subsequent police investigation and whether race was a factor. The STUC have been a vocal supporter of the Bayoh families demands for justice and answers.

After the conference Chand said, “To be in a room full of people that were the minority, with different cultures, backgrounds and were there still trying to make a change – was both moving and inspiring. To be in an inclusive space where everyone understood each other’s struggles and supported each other was lovely. Initially, I wondered why this space had all the people that are likely to already be aware of the issues instead of raising awareness with people who may not know. But when I was speaking to the room, I could see it was so that everyone had a chance to speak, to have their voice heard, and delegates wanted to speak in a space that felt safe and understood. As pharmacists there has never been any real conversations around the role of trade unions or workers’ rights much less rights as a black pharmacist, until now.”

Pharmacists will sadly be only too aware of the pervasive and deeply negative impact racism can have on practice and will be encouraged by the PDA BAME Committee’s work creating an Anti-racist Pharmacy sector. The PDA hopes to have examples of where we have succeeded with this to bring a motion to next year’s conference around widening the adoption and application of our antiracist toolkit.

The STUC has two further conference’s this year, the STUC Women’s conference and the STUC Disabled workers conference. The PDA will be represented by a delegation to both conferences.

If members are interested in being a delegate at any of the STUC conferences in 2023, they should contact the PDA National officer for Scotland, Paul Flynn, paul.flynn@pda-union.org.

                  

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