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Date: Tues 10 May 2005

Booklet adds to anti-racist arguments for public service staff

UNISON, Scotland's public service union, today (Tuesday), announced the publication of a new booklet and leaflet that address the myths and inaccuracies commonly held by people in Scotland. The booklet, titled The Asylum Myths, is targeted at public service workers and deals not only with the 'myths' but also identifies the far-right organisations that try to promote inaccurate information about migrants to further their own racist ideologies. The publication is part of the union's Opposing Racism action plan. Along with an innovative refugee mentoring project - New Workers, and campaigning against the BNP and other racist parties at elections.

The launch will take place at UNISON's Scottish Committee, who will be meeting in Glasgow.

Mike Kirby, UNISON's Scottish Convenor said

"This booklet attempts to address the racist lies of the BNP and other far-right parties head-on. We want our members to know the facts about immigration, and the positive benefits it can have for Scotland.

"If it wasn't enough to have the BNP peddling their race-hate here in Glasgow during the elections - we now have mainstream parties attempting to play on misguided fears over asylum and immigration, so this booklet could not be more timely.

"UNISON is challenging these lies and tell the truth about the valuable contribution that Scotland's diverse communities make to Scotland as a whole. This booklet forms part of UNISON's ongoing campaign. It contains valuable information that will support you in your work challenging the lies.

The booklet and its accompanying leaflet address common misconceptions about immigration, including "we're full up, we can't take any more", "they're taking our jobs", and "They're a drain on taxes", and points out the true situation (for example that without migrant workers taxes would have to rise by 1p in the pound - according to the Home Office).

It will now be sent out to UNISONScotland's over 80 branches and used to challenge attitudes and misinformation that might come up in the workplace.


[Note for Editors - The Asylum Myths and the accompanying leaflet are available from Kevin O'Neil or Dave Watson - below, or it will be on UNISONScotland's website from Tuesday 10 May. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/activists/asylum.html

For Further Information Please Contact:

Mike Kirby (Scottish Convenor) 0845 355 0845(w) 07803 952 261 (m)

Kevin O'Neil (Information Development officer) 0845 355 0845(w)

Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser-Policy & Info) 0845 355 0845(w) 07787 558 410(m)