Royal London Unite workers striking in 2022 to be brought back in house. Photo: Paul Mattsson
Royal London Unite workers striking in 2022 to be brought back in house. Photo: Paul Mattsson

U’Semu Makaya, Birmingham Socialist Party

Government reports published in April place the unemployment rate in October-December 2022 for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds at 7.5%, compared to 3.1% for their white counterparts. This follows a 79% spike at the end of 2020, with BAME workers bearing a larger brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.

Workers from BAME backgrounds regularly fall victim to a double oppression of racism and the exploitation of the working class. Not only do they face discrimination in the workplace, they also meet it in the interview room – or, their CVs end up in a manager’s waste bin.

50% gap

Research into hiring trends in Britain and other countries has indicated that Black, Asian, and Hispanic applicants to a wide variety of jobs typically have to submit approximately 50% more applications per callback than white applicants, demonstrating the continued scourge of racism in the hiring process. In addition, BAME workers are often forced to take up lower-paying, precarious work; swathes of people are made to get by on unfeasible wages, themselves insecure thanks to their casual or contract positions.

Yet, as billionaires and the like see skyrocketing profits in the midst of our struggle, we are told by our government and media that our grievances must be laid at the feet of immigrants. The fires of discrimination remain stoked while the capitalist class comfortably leeches from the worth of our labour.

It is necessary for all workers to recognise the deserving object of their ire, and organise to properly direct it. For united working-class struggle for decent jobs with pay everyone can live on, and unions willing to fight – for workers’ livelihoods and against racist discrimination.