TUC Disabled Workers' Committee

I was elected to this Committee in 2013 and again in 2014. The Disability section of the TUC's website is here.

How workplaces can create difficulties for autistic workers

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Workplaces and employers make work difficult for autistic workers for the following reasons:

Discrimination: Treating the autistic worker differently from, less favourably than, others.

Bullying by management, including ridicule and physical/ verbal abuse.

Lack of communication and support.

Nothing about autistic people without autistic people

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

The trade union movement supports the demand of the disabled people’s movement: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’.

Many trade unions have structures for disabled members; if so, it may be useful to invite and welcome autistic members’ involvement in these.

There are organisations of autistic people, and trade unionists may benefit from their expertise.

Autism and Hate crime

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

In 2013, Labour MP Ian Mearns introduced a Ten-Minute Rule Bill to require the police to maintain a register of hate crimes committed against people with learning difficulties, learning disabilities and autism. During the early months of 2014, this Bill is progressing through its Parliamentary stages.

Autism: What your union can do

From the TUC Handbook, Autism in the Workplace:

Be aware that your membership (nationally, in your region, branch, workplace, etc.) is neurologically diverse, even if no-one has identified themselves to you as being on the autistic spectrum or having another neurological condition. Your union’s strength comes from uniting its members and mobilising the talents of all its members.

Defend your members

An Autism Glossary

From the TUC handbook, 'Autism in the workplace'.

Asperger syndrome 
An autism spectrum condition that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others. People with Asperger syndrome usually have fewer problems with language than those with other forms of autism, and may not have the accompanying learning disabilities often associated with autism. 

TUC 'Autism in the workplace' handbook

Attached is the handbook for trade unionists on 'Autism in the Workplace', written by me and published by the Trades Union Congress in 2014.

This should be useful to all trade union reps and activists both in representing individual members who are autistic and/or have autistic dependants, and in organising to tackle discrimination and fight for autism-friendly workplaces.

Contents:

Speaking Out about Autism at Work

This is the speech I gave at TUC Disabled Workers' Conference 2013 in proposing RMT's resolution on Autism in the Workplace.

Andrew Beck has Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum condition. He was a golf club greenkeeper for 13 years with no problems, until a new boss bullied, humiliated and assaulted him, and forced him out of his job. Andrew won £78k at Employment Tribunal

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