LGBT Migrant Workers

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2007 National LGBT Conference
20 September 2007

Comp B – LGBT Migrant Workers

In the last few years Britain has seen a rise in migration from Eastern European countries.

Many of these migrants face problems in this country including lack of awareness and denial of housing, benefits and employment rights such as the minimum wage, working time legislation, paid holidays, or protection from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In order to protect both British and migrant workers from such situations, migrant workers arriving in the United Kingdom (UK) need to be informed about the laws on discrimination and the role of trade unions which protect all of us from harassment or threats.

Conference welcomes the increasing attention given to this area of work by UNISON and the wider trade union movement.

Conference welcomes publications by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Citizens Advice Bureau on Rights for Migrant Workers, including equality rights, available in a number of languages, and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s leaflet Working in the UK – Know your rights, know where to get help, sent to all workers registering within recent European Union (EU) accession states. Conference calls for these to be more widely publicised and available.

Conference calls for further work in this area, including for a brief Government guide to equality rights and responsibilities, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality, to be made freely available to migrant workers and support and advice agencies as well as campaigning for materials produced to support migrant workers to be fully inclusive of LGBT issues and concerns.

Conference also urges UNISON to lobby government for robust controls to be put in place ensuring that those known to have perpetrated hate crimes – including the incitement of hatred are denied entry into the UK.

Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

1.Raise this issue with the TUC LGBT Committee so the particular concerns of LGBT migrant workers are included in the TUC’s work with migrant workers and that of other affiliates;

2.Issue guidance for branch and regional LGBT groups to use in their own organising with migrant workers and raise via appropriate channels with TUC Regional Councils etc and Trades Union Councils.