No mention of equality in Brexit white paper is “shocking and shameful”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has described the government’s failure to mention equalities in the Brexit white paper as shocking and shameful at its annual women’s conference today (Thursday).

Around 750 delegates are debating a range of equalities motions involving women in work at the event.

Addressing the conference, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We meet in dangerous times. With a US President whose first task was to attack women’s rights; attacking the right to choose not just in America but around the world.

“The government’s white paper on the UK exiting the EU is 77 pages long. That the word equality is not mentioned once is shocking and shameful.

“UNISON led and won the fight to place equality at the heart of Europe. The rights we have were fought for every step of the way.

“Last month Melanie Onn MP put forward a bill in Parliament to ensure that every piece of workers’ rights legislation is guaranteed. There was an amendment that would have protected workers’ rights and yet the Tories voted against it.

“As they voted against more money for our NHS – the £350 million a week that was promised. They voted against the right to remain for EU citizens – some of you in this hall today.

“I’m proud to be part of the campaign against the pension changes making 2.6 million women worse off. Many are waiting six long years for the pension they’re owed and have paid into.

“Now is the time for action and UNISON is proud to lead the way.”

Notes to editors:
–      UNISON women’s conference is taking place between 16 -18 February at the Brighton Centre, King’s Road, BN1 2GR.

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