UNISON supports anti-racism march in Cardiff

UNISON Cymru/Wales equalities lead and regional organiser Calvin Smeda

Workers from across Wales will be joining a march against racism in the centre of Cardiff.

UNISON, which represents thousands of public sector staff, is supporting the event in the Welsh capital on Sunday 17 March.

The union’s president, Swansea cardiac nurse Libby Nolan, will be among speakers at the event which starts at 11am at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

Ahead of the march on Sunday, a healthcare assistant who suffered professional setbacks due to racism at work spoke to UNISON and said: “I was treated unfairly with limited opportunities for advancement and even targeted for job loss.

“This has had a profound effect on me eroding a sense of belonging, making me feel marginalised and targeted.”

A care worker also told UNISON the psychological effects of racism lead to stress, anxiety and low self-esteem as well as causing feelings of anger, frustration and helplessness.

UNISON Cymru/Wales head of equalities and regional organiser Calvin Smeda (pictured above) said: “Black NHS workers have experienced discrimination in career progression, faced microaggressions and stereotypes in the workplace, felt isolated or undervalued and encountered barriers to access opportunities and support.

“They have also highlighted the emotional toll of constantly navigating these challenges while trying to provide the best care for patients.

“One of the most powerful ways of challenging some of the issues and challenging racism in the NHS is to amplify the voices and experience of Black staff ensuring their representation and empowerment is in all levels of decision making.

“We are marching against racism to raise awareness, support individuals affected by racism, show solidarity and demand change to combat racism.

“Marching against racism is an essential tool for challenging prejudice, promoting social justice and creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.”