Date: 21 July 2008
UNISON welcomes report findings on value of trade unions to
Scotland's largest public service union, UNISON, today welcomed
the publication of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Immigration
and social cohesion in the UK, published today (Monday 21).
The union - whose pioneering Overseas Nurses Network participated
in the research - particularly welcomed the both the recognition
of the value of the ONN in assisting overseas workers with integration
and resolving problems, and the positive comments made in the
report about the effective intervention of public sector agencies
in changing the situation of asylum seekers in Sighthill in Glasgow.
Sofi Taylor, from UNISON's NEC and the founder of the ONN, said
"While we know there are many things that trade unions can
do better in dealing with migrant workers, it is encouraging to
know that UNISON's initiative is a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, things like our Migrant Workers Charter - launched
in the Scottish Parliament last month will take us further along
The union also welcomed the recognition that the intervention
of the local council and other public agencies had turned round
initial hostility to asylum seekers in Glasgow's Sighthill district.
Sofi Taylor said "This shows that the public sector can
make a significant difference in bringing communities together.
Just as the initial introduction of asylum seekers into the area
with no information or pre-warning was a mistake, so the move
to support for both asylum seekers and the settled residents was
the right step and has led to far better cohesion.”
This report comes shortly after the review from the Independent
Asylum Commission also commended Scotland for its treatment of
Notes to editors: The Migrant Workers Charter commits
employers to sign up to treat migrant workers fairly - offering
them the same pay and conditions as indigenous workers, committing
to assist with proper travel and housing needs without exploitation,
and assisting workers to overcome language and cultural difficulties.
It is on our website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/activists/migrantworkerscharter.pdf
For Further Information Please Contact: Sofi Taylor (UNISON
NEC) 07957 504 960 Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771