Trade unions cannot accommodate racist extremism. The constitution of Belgium’s FGTB union is explicit: “There is no place in the FGTB for racist, sexist, xenophobic or fascist ideas or behaviour.”
The union has an online contact point where members can report discrimination in the workplace or recruitment procedures. On its website, SETCa, the federation’s white-collar sector, provides a guide for workers, defining different forms of discrimination, referring to concrete examples, and offering members access to a network of diversity consultants who can give practical advice.
“Trade unions can really make a difference,” says SETCa, “putting diversity and the fight against discrimination on the agenda, combating prejudice and developing good practice. Whether it’s staff recruitment, human resource policies or styles of management, diversity and non-discrimination are also a form of solidarity.”
The three Belgian unions, FGTB, CSC and CGSLB have worked together in the Racism, Game Over campaign (see National UPdates no.8). The CSC has organised training, debates, leaflets and arguments to help members combat racist prejudices in the workplace.