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TUC Fringe Event: Let’s Talk About Race and Class

When we think of a typical working-class person in the UK, we are likely to think of a white man emerging from a coal mine. But working-class people in 2017 are more likely to work in call centres than coal mines, more likely to be women, and more likely than middle class people to be BAME. Our cultural image of the British working class is outdated, and the focus on the working class in public discourse relegates race as a category of analysis when it comes to inequality.

In workplaces employers believe that their diversity policies deal with discrimination. Racism is viewed as something that is subtle and hard to detect so workers suffer in silence and do not speak up.  However, the reality is different.

This fringe meeting, co-organised with TUC Race Relations Committee, will discuss the reality of today’s working class, why it’s essential to update our cultural image in the fight against economic and social inequality, the reality of everyday racism, and how trade unionists can respond to tackle the racial harassment and institutional racism taking place in workplaces.

This fringe is open to all delegates and lunch will be provided.


Faiza Shaheen (Director of CLASS)

Omar Khan (Runnymede Trust)

Wilf Sullivan (TUC)

Stephen Ashe (University of Manchester, CoDE)

Chair: Gloria Mills (Chair of the Race Relations Committee)