International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: Speak up together against violence and harassment

May 17, 2018

Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to make it easier for workers to report harassment and violence by implementing anti-reprisal measures, including whistleblower protection. This will make it safer for LGBTQ2SI workers to report harassment and violence in the workplace, without fear of reprisal, discrimination or stigma.

“Violence and harassment should never be part of the job. It’s time for our government to commit to ensuring that any worker who experiences homophobic and transphobic harassment and violence has the support they need,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), marking the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and illnesses.

Canada’s unions have long championed LGBTQ2SI rights and safe and healthy workplaces, free from discrimination, violence and harassment. However, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia continue to affect LGBTQ2SI workers on the job and in communities. According to Statistics Canada, 13% of police-reported hate crimes in 2016 were motivated by hatred based on sexual orientation.

“LGBTQ2SI workers face more barriers when it comes to reporting these crimes and accessing support services to deal with the impact of violence and harassment,” said Yussuff.

Later this month, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will begin negotiations for a new labour standard on violence and harassment in the workplace. Trade unions from around the world will be pushing for an inclusive standard to protect all workers and address the full spectrum of workplace violence and harassment.

The CLC is calling on Canada’s government to champion a standard that will protect workers who experience harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

“With leadership, education and action from our federal government, we can end harassment and violence and make workplaces safe for all workers, regardless of their sexuality or their gender identity and expression,” said Yussuff.

Add your voice and speak up against violence and harassment.

Related Articles

Canada’s Unions Call for an End to Discriminatory Blood Donation Policies

On May 9, 2019, Canada’s Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced a new deferral policy for blood donations from men who have sex with men, effectively reducing the deferral time from one year to three months. This International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), Canada’s unions are calling for an end to discriminatory policies which perpetuate homophobic and transphobic…
Read More

One is too many: no one should die for the job

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning, a day to commemorate those who have died or been injured as a result of their job. This year, Canada’s unions are calling on employers and governments to do more to protect workers. “One workplace death is already too many. Workers deserve to arrive home safely at the end of their workday.…
Read More

Six years after Rana Plaza, workers’ rights still not respected in Bangladesh

April 24 marks the 6th anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,134 garment workers in Bangladesh. Canada’s unions remain concerned about working conditions in factories where Canadian retailers source their products. “Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment exporter. Roughly 4 million people work in the country’s four thousand plus factories. Nearly 80 percent of these workers…
Read More