Background information


In February, Public Services International and Education International issued a statement on discrimination, violence and hate crimes against LGBTs. The Dutch union confederation FNV sent a statement in support of LGBT rights as human rights and trade union rights to its Russian counterparts.

In May 2014, the booklet "LGBT trade union work, experiences and perspectives (a personal view)" by Michiel Odijk was published (by Abvakabo FNV, the Netherlands). Apart from the English version, a Spanish version is available. Hay una versión del libro "Sindicalismo LGBT: experiencias y perspectivas (desde un punto de visto personal)" de Michiel Odijk en inglés y también una en español.

Later that month, the Global Solidarity Conference (by Labourstart) in Berlin included a workshop on LGBT(I) trade union policies. The main subject was organising solidarity. Two examples were highlighted: the Dutch trade union Abvakabo showed that many of the issues relevant for LGBT(I) workers can also be important for others, and that allies can be gained by elaborating this. The British action 'Gays for the Miners' showed that under the oppressive government of Margaret Thatcher that tried to break both the power of trade unions and the growing strength of lesbian and gay organisations, the support for the striking miners by lesbian and gay committees was a firm basis for mutual support and recognition. The workshop celebrated the 'Queer Palm;' award at the film festival in Cannes for the movie 'Pride', based on these historic events. Later, this film also won a BAFTA.

At the 3rd ITUC World congress (= International Trade Union Confederation, the world umbrella organisation for unions), a few days later also in Berlin, the ITUC declared in its congress statement (page 12) that it will "continue to oppose oppression and discrimination on the grounds of religion, colour, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, political opinion, social origin, age or disability, and will encourage ITUC affiliates to defend workers suffering such discrimination."

Also in May, 2014, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) published a report on workplace discrimination against LGBT in Thailand. Read more about this report here.

In June, Toronto hosted the WorldPride Human Rights conference, in which trade unions also played a major role. Public Services International supported one of the participants especially. Read more here.

In September, the British Trade Union Congress (TUC) adopted a resolution on LGBT policies that you can read here.

In October 2014, the ILGA 27th world conference in México D.F. was preceded by
  • a meeting of the PSI (Public Services International) LGBT Network for the Americas. At the meeting, participants confirmed their will to revitalize the LGBT or Sexual Diversity Forum, as established by PSI and Education International (EI). As a result of the meeting, PSI signed a framework contract of co-operation with ILGA-LAC (the Latin American and Caribbean branch of ILGA). Click here for the original Spanish version, here for the English translation.
  • a "Labor inclusion" workshop.

In December, an LGBT Forum in São Paulo, Brazil was the meeting place for representatives of several international and local companies, who talked about LGBT policies and signed a list of Ten Commitments. Meanwhile, the Anti-Discrimination Forum in Ankara,Turkey will mainly be dedicated to the role of trade unions. Click here for the provisional program.