Background information


Sydney 2002 WORKERS OUT conference resolution


The 2002 Workers Out Conference condemns the continued discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) union members and workers.

Conference delegates call for resolute action by peak international and national union bodies to prevent all forms of discrimination.

Delegates to this conference commit to promoting further establishment of coalitions with other organisations, unions, members to work towards these goals.


This conference calls on all global union federations and social allies to eliminate discrimination at work and in the community based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

This conference of trade unionists recognises that we are agents of social change whose mission is elimination of discrimination in all its forms including but not limited to racism, xenophobia, sexism, ableism, ageism, genderphobia, homophobia and transphobia.


We recommend that the Education International and Public Services International establish an international LGBTI trade union forum to advise and assist them and their affiliates on matters related to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

We call on EI and PSI to report on the implementation of this recommendation and the work of this platform to their affiliate trade union members. We also call on EI PSI forum to provide this information to conference participants by establishing as its first priority a website accessible to all trade unionists that will provide details on best practice and a continuing point of contact for conference delegates and other LGBTI workers.

This conference calls on all unions to include in their education strategies and programs information and training on the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

We call on all trade unions to campaign to amend International Labour Organisation's 111 provision to prevent and eliminate discrimination against LGBTI workers.

We call on the Australian Council of Trade Unions to recognise that as hosts of this conference the Australian union movement must facilitate the implementation of this resolution locally and assist other countries in the Asia Pacific region to do the same.

This conference will establish an interim International Working Committee consisting of delegates from all regions to oversee the implementation of the resolution from this conference.

An Interim Organising Committee consisting of representatives of the Workers Out Sydney Organising Committee and representatives from Canada who will be organising the Montreal LGBTI trade union conference will be established to implement the handover between conferences.

The Workers Out 2002 Committee will produce and distribute to all delegates a full written report on this conference.

Transgender and Intersex

This conference calls on unions to ensure that all LGBTI legislation includes rights and protections for transgender and intersex workers, that all industrial instruments and collective agreements include language on gender identity and gender expression and that trade unions work at the forefront of both education on transgender and intersex issues and leadership development of transgender and intersex people.

We also call on conference organisers and participants to make integral to future conference and events transgender and intersex issues by doing the following as a minimum:
  1. building coalitions with transgender and intersex organisations and activists;
  2. bringing transgender and intersex individuals into leadership roles;
  3. including in future conferences an education component on transgender and intersex issues.


We call on all unions to develop policies on HIV/AIDS in the workplace in which the rights of infected and affected workers are protected, and to recognise the multiple discrimination experienced by LGBTI people living with HIV/AIDS.

We call on the International Labour Organisation to make mandatory its code on HIV/AIDS which contains fundamental principles for policy development and practical guidelines, and for all trade unions to implement this code.

We call on the ICFTU, its affiliates and other labour internationals to strengthen their commitment to the global fight against HIV/AIDS by working for access to low cost, good quality essential HIV medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS and building solidarity across national borders.


Unions are to take a leadership role in campaigning for visibility, education and information on transgender issues; in lobbying in order to promote legal reforms at national level to guarantee:

  1. the change of legal status of post-operative transsexuals
  2. the change of name of pre-operative transsexual and transgender individuals
  3. the implementation of a specific anti-discrimination policy in particular at
  4. the work place
  5. the access for transgender individuals to hormonal therapies, minor and
  6. primary surgical interventions, according to their personal choices and
  7. psycho-physical wealth.

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