About EARN



EARN = European Anti-Racism Network


EARN is a movement of black and migrant trade unionists of different FNV unions in the Netherlands. EARN is primarily carrying out activities in order to fight institutional racism in the labour market and at the work place and wants to be a collective representative of black employees. EARN keeps in contact with the grass roots by publishing a newsletter, her website, articles in various union journals, organizing seminars, workshops and oral presentations, etc.


EARN has no formal connection with any religious or political organisation and does focus on black employees from all ethnic communities. EARN was founded in 2000 due to dissatisfaction with the anti-racism policy of the Dutch trade union Confederation FNV and the different FNV unions.




·       Black/white: the terms black/white are used by EARN as political terms; they don’t refer exclusively to the colour of the skin. Black people are those who don’t belong to the dominant white culture.

·       Institutional racism: racism caused by the (unwritten) rules within organisations or the attitude of people within these organisations, consciously or unconsciously applied, that results in disadvantaging of black people and their exclusion from services, goods, facilities in the community and in the labour market.




EARN is of the opinion that within companies and within trade unions there is still insufficient attention paid to the fight against institutional racism in the labour market. Research and policy notes are too often concentrating on backlogs in the labour market without considering the effects of institutional racism on for example the recruitment, chances for promotion, career opportunities and cooperation at the work place.


EARN attempts to stimulate policy makers and administrators working on equal opportunity and anti-racism policies to benefit from the knowledge, the ideas and the experience of black and migrant workers themselves. In this way the existing equal opportunity and anti-racism policies will be monitored, evaluated and improved.


EARN wants to strengthen the position of black and migrant workers and trade unionists within companies and to develop policy instruments which black and migrant workers can use to fight against institutional racism. EARN intends to:

·       raise awareness for the mechanisms of institutional racism amongst black and migrant workers;

·       inform them about the existing anti-racism legislation and procedures for complaints;

·       mobilize black and migrant workers to exchange knowledge and experiences and to fight for their rights.


International cooperation


The situation for black and migrant workers is not unique to The Netherlands. That is why EARN acts jointly with black and migrant trade unionists in other European countries. At the moment there is a strong cooperation with the Black Workers for Justice - Europe from the United Kingdom,  the Black Workers For Justice in the United States, and a group of trade unionists of the French SUD Rail and the Belgium trade union. In 2003 EARN joint ENAR - European Network Against Racism.


Position within the union movement


EARN is completely independent and organises activities with self-acquired funds. EARN has no formal connection with the Dutch trade union Confederation FNV nor with the different FNV unions and does not receive any funding or other financial support from them. EARN does not want to take over the work of the trade unions (anti-racism policies are after all their responsibility), but they want to be a "bug in the fur" by launching the discussion about various issues and incite a debate.

TIE Netherlands supports the activities of EARN. TIE is an organisation that aims to facilitate the exchange of information and experience in networks of employees of multinational cooperation’s and within trade union structures.