Trade unions building links between migrant workers and local communities
Trade unions in County Monaghan are playing an important role in a new initiative to build links between migrant workers and the local community and to stop racism. The secretary of Monaghan Trades Council, Peter McAleer from Clones, joined an audience of over seventy people in Newry for the launch of the “Racism is Wrong” campaign. Chaired by TV presenter Pamela Ballantine, the event featured a panel discussion including the North’s Transport Minister and Newry and Armagh MP, Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin), Jane Morrice of the Equality Commission in Belfast and Kasia Garbal, Migrant Worker Coordinator with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
Racism is Wrong has used local people from black and ethnic minority communities as the “faces” for an advertising campaign. Their profiles will be seen over the next five months throughout Monaghan and Louth as well as the areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, and Newry and Mourne. The campaign has received European funding through the PEACE III Programme. It aims to raise awareness of racism and includes newspaper and radio advertising, billboards and a website at (new window) www.racismiswrong.org. It is supported by the Equality Commission in the North and the Unite Against Hate group.
Among the priorities for this cross-border partnership is to change the perceptions and stereotypes that exist in relation to ethnic minority communities. It aims to develop, promote and facilitate the integration of migrant workers and local communities. It hopes the campaign will help to improve understanding and support between local communities and migrant workers or ethnic minorities.