Commonwealth soldiers form union Some 6,000 soldiers are from Commonwealth countries Soldiers from the Commonwealth serving in the British army are so dissatisfied with their treatment they are to form a trade union, the BBC has learned. The move comes amid complaints of widespread racism, unfair treatment and a lack of welfare support. The union, while powerless to strike or negotiate, will give advice to members. The Ministry of Defence said there was no evidence of endemic racism in the army and special provision was offered to the 6,000 Commonwealth soldiers. Marlon Clancy, who is setting up the British Commonwealth Soldiers Union, said one issue was preferential treatment. "In some units, the white soldiers will be given priority for courses over the black soldiers, and the black soldier - no matter how long he's been in, if he has been in four years longer than the white soldier - he will be put behind the white soldier," he told the BBC. Recent years have seen the number of servicemen and women from Commonwealth countries swell as the MoD struggles to recruit people born in the UK. In 2000, there were just 435 from the Commonwealth but that figure has since risen to 6,000 - the bulk of whom are from Fiji. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6425529.stm One step closer to a British Armed Forces Federation?