Dunfermline man Satnam Ner, and chair of the Prospect Rosyth branch at Babcock International Group, was presented with the 2010 One Workplace Equality Award by Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The reward is in recognition of Satnam’s dedication to ensure equality issues are included within all policies and practices within his workplace, in particular issues facing black and minority ethnic workers.
Prospect National Secretary Anne Douglas said: "Equality in the workplace is not difficult but it does represent a culture change. It's evolutionary work - but sometimes you need a revolution and that's where Satnam and what he has done have made a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people."
Speaking before the presentation, Satnam said: “To be recognised with the One Workplace award for work that I have always been committed to doing is both a surprise and an honour.
"But I have to say that I am only one of many equality reps out there, all of who are working just as hard to fight unfairness, inequality and discrimination. Progress is sometimes frustratingly slow but we must never allow it to discourage us.
“I hope that this award and the publicity that goes with it will encourage more reps in Prospect and other unions to take on the equality rep’s role so that they can work, positively and constructively, with their employers to continue making a difference. And making a difference to fellow workers is what trade unionism is all about.”
Satnam’s dedication to promoting race equality extends beyond his workplace to the STUC General Council on which he sits, as well as the STUC’s black workers’ committee where, having been elected for 11 consecutive years, he is the longest serving member.
He has also taken the message about the benefits of union membership into the community having been active within the STUC’s ‘unions into schools’ initiative.
The aim of this is to explain the relevance of unions to pupils about to enter the working world by listening to experiences of active union representatives and exploring work-related issues through debate, role-playing negotiations and quizzes on employment rights.
Satnam also holds the posts of health and safety and union learning representative in his workplace as well as being a member of the National Executive Committee, the ruling body of his own union Prospect.