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Myths and “downright lies” about immigration from right-wing opportunists are set to distort the run-up to next month’s Euro elections and beyond, the TUC warned yesterday.
General secretary Frances O’Grady accused right wing politicians of driving an “increasingly toxic” debate on the subject.
Addressing the annual TUC black workers’ conference in London yesterday, Ms O’Grady said that a climate of fear was “slowly poisoning” life in Britain.
“People are indeed worried — but not about immigrants themselves,” she said.
“Their biggest concern is the bosses who use cheap migrant labour to undercut people’s pay and pensions.
“This is what politicians should be doing something about and the TUC will continue to work with unions to counter the myths, half-truths and downright lies about immigration that are sure to fly around in the run-up to next year’s general election.
“We’ll also be campaigning hard for politicians to start treating the issue of race equality with the seriousness it deserves.
"In the four years since the government came to power, the fight against racism — in our communities and the labour market — seems to have fallen off the radar.”
Last month saw a mass rally organised by Unite Against Fascism take place in London. An estimated 10,000 campaigners took part in the event demanding an end to the scapegoating of immigrants and for an end to Islamophobia. The rally was widely supported by the trade union movement and human rights and anti-racist campaign groups.
The TUC Black Workers conference will run until Sunday at Congress House.
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