This week, UNI is launching a new network to fight prejudice against LGBTI+ workers and amplify their voices at work. LGBTI+ workers often face intolerance and unfairness at work and UNI is determined to support and protect those facing discrimination.
All UNI regions were represented and speakers came from different UNI sectors.
The network will share best practices to protect and promote LGBTI+ rights in the workplace, support collective bargaining strategies and work with the sectors to include language in global agreements to fight discrimination in the workplace.
Alke Boessiger, Deputy General Secretary of UNI Global Union said UNI was determined to continue the battle for full civil and human rights for LGBTI+ workers. “We know that people all over the world face prejudice based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and that it’s a barrier to a peaceful world,” said Boessiger. “Over 70 countries still criminalise LGBTI+ people just for being who they are.”
“We can be proud of the part that we’ve played in promoting LGBTI+ rights, but unions still have a lot of work to do. We need to fight to bring about much needed changes and advancements on LGBTI+ issues to promote real social and economic justice.”
“We are determined to work together with our affiliates and ramp up our action to fight discrimination against members of the LGBTI+ community,” said Veronica Fernandez-Mendez. “We are fully committed to combat all forms of violence and intolerance against LGBTI+ workers, but we can do even more.”
“That’s why we are launching this network and invite all UNI affiliates to participate actively in the new UNI LGBTI+ Network. As unions, we must face inequality and prejudice in the workplace together. Let’s fight to eliminate income disparity, harassment and unfair treatment by negotiating strong collective agreements and organizing LGBTI+ workers.”
The importance of using ILO C190 as a tool was also raised by participants.
Since the adoption of a resolution on LGBTI+ at the 2018 UNI World Congress in Liverpool, UNI has partnered with other Global Union Federations to create networks to fight discrimination and violence towards LGBTI+ workers.