Trade Union Politics & the Windrush Generation

Trade Union Politics & the Windrush Generation
Ann Beach on Unison's work with the Windrush Generation

As one of two delegates from Sutton Greater London Branch Unison Retired Members, in October 2018 I attended the Unison Retired Members Conference at the Bournemouth Conference Centre, Bournemouth, in Dorset. Delegates came from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The business of the conference is carried out over two days, with the second day usually the most intense.  
On the first evening the delegates enjoyed a typical ‘social;’ a disco held nearby in a prestigious hotel. It was a general success, even if we did not win anything in the raffle! The weather in Bournemouth was exceptional; 2 days of sunshine and warmth to walk on the sandy beach or in the popular gardens and the chance to debate some of the most important issues of 2018.  
The question of the rights of the Windrush generation were very much on the agenda this year, and motions put forward by East Midlands, West Midlands and Leicestershire County branches included:  

(1)    The issue of Windrush people who are now retired members/pensioners who may be affected by any lack of documentation; and where necessary, together with relevant organisations, to support the acquisition of such documentation.  
(2)    To publicise the support of retired members within Unison for Windrush people and their rights as British citizens. 
The motions were ‘carried’ on a unanimous vote of confidence, which instructs the National Retired Members Committee to ‘make things happen.’ Certainly, the significance of the 2018 Windrush Scandal is reflected in both the motions and in the overwhelming desire of members to support those men and women now facing visa difficulties, despite their tremendous contributions to British society.