Activist agenda: Uyghurs, health and safety, neurodivergent people and councils

Submitted by AWL on 11 May, 2021 - 5:29
Uyghur Solidarity protest

The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and the Hong Kong campaign LMSHKUK will protest on 4 June from 7 pm outside the Chinese Embassy in London: “Remember Tiananmen 1989 -Democracy, freedom, workers’ rights for China, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Uyghurs”.

The Safe and Equal campaign is putting together a model Covid safety survey. It wants health and safety reps to use this period where there is a lull in the pandemic to conduct workplace inspections and a survey of the workforce.

Health and safety reps have a legal right to paid time off for these duties. We don’t know if there will be future waves coming or if the worst is behind us. But unions should use this time to find out how workers have fared during the past year and to draw the lessons.

The surveys are designed to investigate needs for in-sourcing, full sick pay, and measures (ventilation, PPE) to address risks of airborne transmission which many employers still refuse to recognise. S&E hopes the process of conducting these surveys will also lead to better organisation across the workforce and stronger unions. Want to help? Contact the campaign.

On Friday 30 April, Neurodivergent Labour held an online event asking “What do neurodivergent people need from our local councils?” Speakers were Andrew Berry (Islington Unison) on neurodiversity in the local government workforce; Nikki Hughes (ND Labour Executive) on the need for Labour councils to engage more with the community, including with Gypsy, Roma, Traveller people; John McDonnell MP on his support for ND Labour; Gethin Jones (PCS activist and Senedd candidate) on neurodiversity in the prison service and on Welsh Labour’s record; and Joan Martin, Osime Brown’s mother, on how the local authority let her son down.

You can watch or listen to the event on ND Labour’s YouTube channel. Campaigning initiatives and further events will follow.

• Links and info for these and other campaigns, and suggested words for labour movement motions on many issues, here

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