Opinion Former Article

Unite: Union challenges invitation of British National Party to US conference

Leaders of the largest trade unions in the UK, Ireland, North America and Canada have made a fierce protest against the decision of a large hotel chain to host a conference due to be addressed by the leader of the far right British National Party (BNP) Nick Griffin.

In a letter to the Westin Hotel from the world's first international union, Workers Uniting which represents three million working people, expresses deep anger about the decision of the management to allow an individual whose views are so offence to many to address a white supremacist conference on its premises.

The Westin Hotel chain has over 160 hotels and resorts worldwide. Workers Uniting, the world's first global union is a partnership between Unite from the United Kingdom and the United Steelworkers (USW) from the United States and Canada.

In their letter signed by Derek Simpson, Tony Woodley and Leo Gerard they say:
"Workers Uniting is appalled that the Westin would allow an individual whose views are so offensive and abhorrent to many, to hold a public address on its premises.

"You should be aware that a court order was made against the BNP after legal proceedings were issued against them on grounds that their membership requirements discriminated on grounds of, amongst other things, race. In 1996 Griffin received a nine-month prison sentence (suspended for two years) after being found guilty of distributing material likely to incite racial hatred. As well as this, Griffin is reported to have referred to the Holocaust as the 'Holohoax'."

Derek Simpson, Tony Woodley and Leo Gerard are urging the hotel management to reconsider their decision in order to avoid serious reputational damage to their business.

- Ends -
For more information contact:
Saba Mozakka, Unite, 020 7420 8916, saba.mozakka@unitetheunion.com
Connie Mabin, USW, 412-562-2616, cmabin@usw.org

- Notes to editors -
The leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin is due to be the keynote speaker at the 'American Renaissance' conference February 19th - 21st.

The conference is due to be held at:
The Westin Washington Dulles Airport
2520 Wasser Terrace, Herndon, Va. 20171 United States.

More Articles by Unite - the union (T&G section) ...

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