This month, the GMB Union became the first trade union to nationally adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia (“the APPG definition”).
Afzal Khan MP, Vice Chair of the APPG on British Muslims and Chair of the Labour Muslim Network was invited by Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, to address the union’s Central Executive Committee on Monday.
Following Mr Khan’s intervention, the CEC unanimously agreed to adopt the APPG definition and resolved to lead the fight against Islamophobia across the trade union movement.
The GMB has a track record of campaigning and fighting for better rights, pay and conditions for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic workers. Last year the union published its own report to the EHRC inquiry into racial inequality in health and social care workplaces. The adoption of the APPG definition of Islamophobia reflects the GMB’s core values – making work and society a better, safer place for everyone.
Afzal Khan MP said: “The GMB has a proud history of standing up against racism and discrimination. I am proud that my union has become the first to nationally adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia, joining over 800 organisations, political parties and local authorities.
“As a British Muslim, this is a personal as well as a political fight. When I go home to Manchester and spend time with my grandchildren, like every Grandfather, I see limitless potential that deserves to flourish. But it is heart-breaking to know they will grow up in a world in which they will be subjected to racism, prejudice and discrimination, because they are Muslim.
“Discrimination often takes place in the workplace. That is why it’s crucial the labour movement not only rejects racism and discrimination, but actively works to combat it, wherever it arises.
“I firmly believe that naming and defining a problem is the first step in rooting it out. That’s why adopting this definition is so important in the fight against Islamophobia. The GMB are setting a powerful example by adopting it and I hope more trade unions will follow suit.”