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GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region

Birmingham wins 2 GMB Equality Award

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Birmingham Resident Wins Two GMB Equality Awards At GMB Congress In Bournemouth 

An inspiring example of GMB members fighting racism and for equality says GMB.

Birmingham resident Patricia Gumbria received the prestigious GMB President’s Award for the “Most Inspirational Individual on Equality in GMB or at Work” at GMB Congress in Bournemouth today (Sunday 5th June, 2016) for her fight to raise employment terms and conditions for non-white workers.

As well as the individual award, Patricia also won the “highly commended” award for the “Most Inspirational Equality project for Organising” Category for her work at the care home where she works.

Patricia Gumbria received the awards from Mary Turner, GMB National President, on Sunday 5th June along with other GMB award winners.

The 99th GMB Congress, comprising of 500 elected lay members and 300 visitors and guests, started today (Sunday 5th June) and runs until Thursday 9th June at Bournemouth’s International Centre. GMB Congress delegates were elected from the GMB membership to represent over 640,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland and every sector of the economy.  Congress is the supreme policy making body of GMB.

Joe Morgan, GMB Birmingham and West Midlands Regional Secretary, said "Patricia’s care home was blighted by racial discrimination. A new manager gave all new white workers full time contracts denying the same for existing ethnic minority workers.

Patricia campaigned tirelessly for all staff, recruited and organised workers until the owner agreed to give full time contracts and the manager was dismissed. An inspiring example of GMB members fighting racism for equality.”

Rebecca Mitchell, GMB Birmingham and West Midlands regional equality officer, said “Birmingham Region are so happy Patricia has been recognised for her hard work and dedication to her colleagues by receiving this award.

She took an issue at work and, with support from the C40 care branch and branch secretary, went into her workplace, organised her colleagues and built up the union strength. Together they fought the racial discrimination they were facing by uniting all workers on the issue and won. We are very proud and she is an inspiration to all the reps in her branch, and a proud sister to the union.”

Patricia Gumbria said “Allowing workplace racism breeds an environment of discrimination, distrust, friction and unsafe conditions. Myself and colleagues, with the help of fantastic supportive staff at GMB in Halesowen, fought hard against racism and discrimination where ethnic minorities were given zero hours contracts and at one point had all their shifts cancelled.

Black and white staff came together and made a grievance with a strong message that we would not accept such behaviour.”

End

Contact: Joe Morgan on 07794 247960 or Kamaljeet Jandu GMB Equality and Inclusion Officer on 07956 237178 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691. Photographs are available from Andrew Wiard Photographer on 07973 219201 or andrew@reportphotos.com

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