Catalogue description Black Trade Unionists Solidarity Movement Records

This record is held by Bishopsgate Institute

Details of BG/BTU
Reference: BG/BTU
Title: Black Trade Unionists Solidarity Movement Records

A small but highly significant grouping of records documenting the establishment, organizational structure and administration of the Black Trade Unionists Solidarity Movement (BTUSM), the first organization of its kind in the United Kingdom. These papers are a vital and rare historical record of the history of Black peoples and trade unionism in the UK. They also serve as a crucial record of Bernie Grant's own personal early union activism and budding involvement in civil and political rights campaigning. There are minutes of meetings generated by various sources and committees within the Movement as well as supporting material such as correspondence, reports, union membership lists and Bernie Grant's handwritten notes re the Movement. Included are the case files which were assigned to Bernie Grant as a case development worker for the BTUSM, in particular, his work for the Greater London Council - Women's Committee Support Unit (WCSU). Along with files held relating to internal disputes within the BTUSM, there are also a number of general files containing administrative and membership details. Among them, there are some significant documents outlining particulars of the BTUSM's casework and key activities. Of particular note, there is correspondence relating to the restructuring of the BTUSM through a 'Special Membership Meeting' [10 Feb 1985] and personnel information concerning Bernie Grant such as correspondence relating to his employment contract as well as his letter of resignation from the BTUSM.

Date: 1981 - 1985
Held by: Bishopsgate Institute, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Black Trade Unionists Solidarity Movement, 1981 - c1985

Physical description: 15 files
Access conditions:

Some files have been closed for 100 years in accordance with data protection legislation.


Exceptions to closure: Closed files may be accessed under certain conditions upon making application to the Bernie Grant Trust.

Administrative / biographical background:

Bernie Grant founded the pioneering Black Trade Unionist Solidarity Movement (BTUSM) in November 1981 in response to the increasing need to establish a Black Caucus that would represent the key interests and issues facing black workers in Britain (ie 'to promote the interest of black workers at the workplace within the trade unions and within the community' through investigating issues such as racism and discrimination in the workplace, the implications of economic trends eg recession on black workers, level of black representation in positions of responsibility within unions). The impetus for the establishment of the body came following the declaration of Conference of Black Workers, Digbeth Civil Hall 12 Sep 1981 which stated that the main objective of the organization would be ' to organise as pressure groups within the trade union movement, to fight against racism and for positive action for black workers.'

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