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The BBC's Jonty Bloom
"British business is bound to complain that more legislation will mean more expense and red tape"
 real 56k

Friday, 27 April, 2001, 05:17 GMT 06:17 UK
Workplace racism 'getting worse'

Figures show Black and Asian people are less likely to become managers
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling for all employers to be legally required to promote race relations, following signs that racism in the workplace is getting worse.

Its latest report, Black Workers Deserve Better, said that black and Asian people were now twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts.

They have to face up to the reality of racism in their organisations and act against it

John Monks, TUC

Black and Asian jobless rates in Britain stand at 12% - one of the highest on record - compared with 5% among white people.

The government is now being urged to extend the Race Relations Act to give private and voluntary sector employers the same legal obligations as those imposed on public authorities.

In some regions the unemployment rate among black and Asian people was even higher, including 15% in Yorkshire and Humberside and the West Midlands.

Discrimination

Even when they found work, black and Asian people faced discrimination when they tried to get a managerial post, said the TUC.

The union organisation said the position was worse than in 1990 when black and Asian unemployment was 11%.

TUC general secretary John Monks said too many employers were ignoring the lessons of the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of London teenager Stephen Lawrence.

He said: "They have to face up to the reality of racism in their organisations and act against it.

"Despite unemployment dropping below one million, our black and Asian workers are still suffering appalling discrimination."

The report is being launched on the opening day of the TUC Black Workers' conference in Perth.

The conference will review the work of the TUC's Stephen Lawrence Task Group Action Plan set up to tackle racism at work.

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See also:

22 Feb 01 | UK Politics
Views sought on new race laws
14 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Government defends race record
24 Feb 99 | UK
'New era of race relations'
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