In June this year, Steelworkers from all across Canada join with LGBT communities to celebrate Pride Month.
As a union dedicated to social justice, we have always supported equality seeking groups in our union, our workplaces, and, in society. With specific regards to equality for LGBT communities, we applaud Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and, Newfoundland and Labrador. Since 2015, these provinces have extended their human rights laws to explicitly include “gender expression” and “gender identity” as protected grounds.
In 2017 at the federal level, Bill C-16 adds provisions for “gender expression” and “gender identity” as protected grounds. As a result, federally regulated industries, federal departments, agencies and crown corporations as well as multiple federal employers will be compelled to safeguard the rights of trans and gender-non-conforming people.
Improvement in protections for LGBT members is also reflected within our union itself. The USW Constitution now recognizes “gender identity” as a ground of equality. This is a significant step that strengthens human rights protection to our membership.
I urge you to:
- Take part Pride Month activities in your community
- Elect or support a Human Rights Committee to ensure the employer’s compliance with updated human rights legislation
- Support the NDP in continuing our fight for equality at the federal and provincial levels of government