- Solidarity with LGBT Workers Workshop Outline and Power Point
- LGBT Allies Packet from the Canadian Labour Congress
Education for Union Reps
How do unions address key issues for LGBT workers?
LGBT union members – and anyone else perceived to be LGBT — are routinely harassed in the workplace. This ranges from being the target of whisper campaigns, to graffiti, to sexual harassment, to physical violence. None of it is acceptable and all of it is an affront to human dignity and union solidarity. Anti-harassment policies with speedy confidential follow-up, and anti-harassment training (with LGBT content), are needed.
We need to bargain and uphold provisions to protect LGBT members from discriminatory attitudes on the part of management (including stereotypes governing decisions about hiring,transfers, skills & abilities, etc.) In a majority of states, workers can be legally fired because of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Because both state and federal laws are inadequate, union contracts are often the only line of defense for LGBT workers.
LGBT-Inclusive Contract Language
Because of the inadequacies of state and federal law, it is vital that union contracts contain specific language to ensure LGBT workers receive at least similar benefits under a contract. Major areas of contract language that are needed include nondiscrimination language, LGBT-inclusive definitions, health coverage, gender-neutral uniforms and inclusive leave of absence language. We need to bargain benefits that understand realities of LGBT members our families and ensure that benefits are not exclusionary, but rather that they are equal.
Immigration & Family Reunification
Because LGBT families are not recognized through federal law, thousands of families are separated because of the inability of LGBT people to sponsor their partners and children for residency in the United States. As union contracts are often the only employment protections that exist for any LGBT workers, comprehensive immigration reform must ensure immigrant workers full workplace rights, including the right to organize and protections for whistle-blowers.
Sample LGBT Equity Materials
- UFCW Local 21 Taking on the Bully at Work Booklet
- Canadian Labour Congress Allies Booklet
- Canadian Labour Congress Workers in Transition Guide