During Pride season, the Canadian Labour Congress unites with lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirited, trans and queer Canadians to celebrate the diversity of our communities and to help build a more inclusive, equal country.
The labour movement has a long history of making the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ individuals better. Many of the rights and benefits we have won for our members are now standard in workplaces across the country.
During Pride season, we celebrate many of these victories:
- It was the postal workers who first negotiated same sex health benefits in their contracts.
- Unions across most industries created committees and working groups to fight against homophobia, transphobia and harassment, and many even changed their own constitution to reflect that.
- In the early 2000s unions challenged equal marriage.
- Workers who are transitioning can access special leave because of the work unions have done.
- We have put diverse clauses in collective bargaining agreements that protect the human rights of LGBTQ workers above and beyond the law.
- World Pride in Toronto hit a record number of delegate participation by union members last year.
- The ongoing support of teachers’ unions and federations who hold Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in our school boards.
This Pride, the CLC is proud to release a new guide for unions called “Bargaining Equality for LGBTQ Workers”. This checklist helps union members and employers negotiate better language to recognize, protect and include LGBTQ workers. This is a great resource for stewards, allies and union members in general and helps build solidarity within the movement.
The CLC is working hard to help elect a government that will support the rights and equality of LGBTQ communities. We urge union members to consider electing candidates who will support Bill C-279 to add gender identity to the criminal code and human rights act, who support anti-bullying action plans to end homophobia and transphobia, and who support a national pharmacare program that will help LGBTQ individuals access expensive medication.
The CLC is proud to join with the LGBTQ community and its affiliates in celebrating Pride Season.