This article is by a Citizens Wales young leader – but you can submit your stuff to TheSprout, too.
Following a lot of one-to-one conversations and a listening campaign in the local community, it was clear that unfair employment practices and a lack of local employment opportunities existed, particularly in areas in and around Butetown and Grangetown.
So, we decided that we would take action. On the afternoon of Thursday 18th August, I was part of a group of Citizens Wales young leaders from the BRG (Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown) area of Cardiff and we undertook The Cardiff Bay Action.
Around 40 of us met at the local youth club at 2pm and proceeded from there to Cardiff Bay. Before heading to the Bay, we split into five teams and put on our Citizens Wales t-shirts. Community organiser, Ali Abdi and lead organiser, Jonathan Cox handed out a list of addresses of local businesses to approach.
Living wage, better job opportunities, unfair recruitment practices…
The purpose of this action was to raise awareness of the issues that local people have felt strongly about and have expressed to us – these were employers paying the living wage, offering better job opportunities and stopping unfair recruitment practices. We gave a number of employers letters explaining this and included 10 questions to collect information from them. These included:
- Does the employer have ethnic minority people working in their firm and if so, how many?
- Do they pay the living wage?
- Do they issue zero hour contracts?
We were surprised to receive a response from one company via email right away asking to meet with us and interested in looking into paying the Living Wage. Other companies we approached were happy to engage in conversations and return the surveys to us in due course.
We finished the afternoon with all teams meeting outside the Wales Millennium Centre, where we hand-delivered a letter to one of the managers. Local poet, Hassan Panero did a spoken word piece in a call and response format, bringing an end to the whole action. The event will hopefully go some way to convince businesses to think local and be unbiased when recruiting in the future.
The plan is to invite all employers to an event on 21st September, at which we will officially launch Bay Citizens and present the results of the Community Listening Campaign and the Cardiff Bay Action.
Featured image from: https://twitter.com/citizenswales
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