We are pleased to inform our members and supporters that PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) had agreed to affiliate to Tamil Solidarity in their national conference today. PCS is one of the largest trade unions in the UK –It’s also a largest civil service union. PCS organises throughout the civil service and government agencies.
Tamil Solidarity puts working class and its organisations at the centre of the struggle for Tamil rights. We stand for the right of the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka to self-determination, alongside the struggle for the rights of workers and the oppressed throughout the island, regardless of their ethnic/religious background.
In Britain, we have consistently linked the struggle of Tamils to the trade union movement. Tamil Solidarity activists have intervened and taken part in many struggles that unions organised. TS also participated in union conferences around the country, and have addressed many union branch meetings and events, raising awareness of the issues facing Tamils – both in Sri Lanka and in Britain.
We have launched a ‘Join a Union’ initiative as an attempt to engage with union branches, and aiming to recruit Tamil workers into the union movement. The 300,000 Tamils living in Britain are concentrated in low-paid jobs – many in unorganised food and retail sectors, a significant number in the public sector. Many Tamil youth are in further/higher education. Most Tamils live in the working-class districts of Britain’s cities, affected by savage austerity. Hundreds of young Tamils also are going through enormous suffering as Asylum seekers and as refugees.
Tamil Solidarity therefore are really pleased that PCS (has joined UNISON and NUS) nationally affiliated to Tamil Solidarity. See below a video of the PCS member Austin Harney who moved the motion at the conference. We are looking forward to work closely with PCS to strengthen the struggle of Tamils as well as advance the workers interest in Britain as a whole.