Pride Month has begun and we’re kicking it off by highlighting an organization that represents LGBTQ+ union members and their allies, Pride at Work.
Pride at Work is a nonprofit organization that “organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice.” Or as someone nicely summarized in this 5-minute introductory video, “it is the LGBTQ arm of the Labor Movement, it is the labor arm of the LGBTQ movement.”
With “nearly half (48.8%) of transgender employees reporting experiencing discrimination (being fired or not hired) based on their LGBTQ+ status” and companies using religious exemptions to circumvent civil rights laws, Pride at Work believes that “the strongest protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer working people is an inclusive union contract.”
Examples of the issues they work to get addressed in union contracts and policies include workplace discrimination, religious exemptions, transgender working people, and bathroom access. In the resources section of their website, they provide model contract language that can be used when bargaining for a new contract.
The resource section also has materials to educate union members and leaders so they can discuss LGBTQ+ issues effectively. There is an explanation of gender pronouns and recommendations on how to be more inclusive, for example addressing people in a meeting as “labor siblings” instead of “Sisters and Brothers”. There is also an LGBTQ+ 101 guide that provides basic definitions of terms and clarifies the difference between gender, gender identity and biological sex. Useful for anyone who wants a better understanding whether or not they are a union member.
If you’d like to get involved with Pride at Work, you can do so on a local level. With over 20 chapters across the country, there’s a good chance you’ll find one near you. To support them on a national level, you can shop for merch, make a donation and help raise awareness on social media. Like the Pride at Work Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @PrideatWork #1upride