Fighting Racism in Our Unions, Workplaces and Terraces

The CWU's new football shirt – launched with the support of Show Racism the Red Card – aims to put trade unions at the front of the fight against racism not only in work but on the terraces too.

Scenes across the world are giving hope that finally we are on the brink of serious action on racial inequality. We will of course have to take to the streets, educate and tackle issues within our workplaces but now, more than ever, there is a growing movement for change. 

One place often written off when thinking about how to tackle racism is the terraces and forums of football clubs up and down the UK. Too many times I hear ignorant comments like “football fans, they’re all racists.” These anti-working class attitudes are wrong and play straight into the hands of the far-right. 

Football is the national game. It is played, watched and enjoyed by millions of working class people. I have loved the game my whole life and know so many CWU reps and members feel the same. This is why, as a union, in launching CWU Against Racism, one aspect of our strategy is to connect with members through football.

Yesterday, with the support of Show Racism the Red Card, the CWU launched its own anti-racist football shirt. The response was overwhelming and within hours we decided to put them up for sale. Over 100 CWU Against Racism shirts were sold yesterday alone. 

The fight against racism has many battlegrounds, but the world of football is a key one. The fight is on the pitch – where many professional footballers are doing excellent work – but also on the terraces, among fans and supporters.

As representatives of working-class communities, the trade union movement can make the link between anti-racism and football better than most. It’s our job to make it clear that football belongs to the working-class communities which sustain it – in all their diversity.

You can help us carry this message forward by supporting our campaign and buying a shirt. In addition to the strong anti-racism message the shirts deliver, we have taken the decision to split all CWU profits from the sale of every shirt equally between FareShare (the organisation providing millions of meals to foodbanks and communities across the UK) and anti-racism charities. 

I am sure it’s everyone’s dream to pull on that CWU Pantone 214 colour. Now is your chance to fulfil that dream – and help us make sure as many people as possible know that trade unions in this country stand for workers of all colours and creeds.