Trade unions unite in solidarity with refugees

The statement was coordinated by the Fire Brigades Union, and is signed by unions representing workers across the economy.


More than a dozen trade unions have signed a joint statement, slamming government complicity in attacks on refugee hotels.

The statement was coordinated by the Fire Brigades Union, and is signed by unions representing workers across the economy.

It comes as far-right protesters target hotels accommodating refugees, with Hope Not Hate reporting that far-right protesters visited hotels housing asylum seekers 253 times last year, which is more than double the amount of similar incidents which were recorded in 2021.

The statement issued by the trade unions is as follows:

“In recent weeks, we have seen an alarming rise in violence and intimidation organised by the far right against refugees and refugee accommodation.

“The government is complicit in these attacks. The Rwanda policy does not make sense as a means of stopping small boat crossings – and it is failing on its own terms – but it fits with a long-running campaign of rhetoric and demonisation.

“Anti-migrant politics are an attempt to divide working class people against each other. In the past decade, the UK has suffered a crisis of living standards – with wages falling and public services left to rot. The people to blame for this are politicians, billionaires and big corporations, not migrant workers or refugees forced to live in temporary accommodation. The anti-refugee campaign offers no solutions to the real problems faced by the deprived communities they are often targeting. The answer is solidarity, not scapegoating. 

“As trade unionists, we know whose side we are on when we see far right mobs attacking refugees and politicians playing the mood music. We send our solidarity to Care4Calais and all groups fighting for refugee rights, and we support the call for safe and legal routes into the UK. We call on workers and trade union members to show their solidarity and to mobilise against the far right.”


Matt Wrack – FBU General Secretary

Gary Smith – GMB General Secretary

Andrea Egan – UNISON President

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney – NEU Joint General Secretaries

Mick Lynch – RMT General Secretary

Jo Grady – UCU General Secretary

Michelle Stanistreet – NUJ General Secretary

Mick Whelan – ASLEF General Secretary

Sarah Woolley – BFAWU General Secretary

Paul W Fleming – Equity General Secretary

Julia Georgiou – NHBC Staff Association General Secretary

Naomi Pohl – Musicians’ Union General Secretary

Steve Gillan – POA General Secretary

Rob Monks – URTU General Secretary

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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