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Staff accuse Lambeth council of institutional racism

Council staff in one of London’s most ethnically diverse boroughs have accused bosses of institutional racism, claiming that racial tension is escalating at the local authority with devastating consequences.

In a strongly worded letter to councillors in Lambeth, a group of staff who call themselves Lambeth Black Workers write of the “despair, humiliation, disappointments, rejection and loss of staff unity that are direct consequences of racism at work”.

Last year Lambeth Unison conducted a survey of black members of the union about racism. Of the more than 100 workers who responded, half (50%) said they had witnessed or experienced racism from managers in the past two years, and more than a third (35%) said they had witnessed or experienced racism from colleagues.

Almost two-thirds (65%) said they did not believe white managers treated all people equally during the course of a restructure, and 56% felt reorganisations were used as an opportunity to make BAME staff redundant.

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