Background information


Diego Gonçalves Rodrigues

Brazilian activist dies

In a simple message on Facebook, the husband of the Brazilian LGBT and trade union activist Diego Gonçalves Rodrigues announced on the 9th of November 2019 that in the previous night, his soul-mate had taken his own life.
Diego was a well-known university teacher and activist in Campo Grande and Mato Graso do Sul, Apart from his trade union and LGBT activism, he was also working in the regional chapter of the Worker's party PT, where he had a position as secretary for LGBT affairs.
In his trade union work, he was also active at international level, including the PSI LGBT group for the Americas.
One of the last activities in which he was involved was the struggle to get former president Luiz 'Lula' da Silva out of jail, pending the decision of the Brazilian Supreme Court about a previous verdict. Is this absurdity or irony: Lula was released the same day that Diego took his own life.

We send our deepest sympathies to his husband, his friends and family, all over the world. A luta continua!

EU Conference on "Trade Union Practices on Non-Discrimination and Diversity"

Compared to 2010, the number of reports about discrimination at work on the ground of sexual orientation has mounted.
This disturbing outcome of a study in the European Union Member-States was one of the topics discussed at a meeting in Brussels on the 17th of October, 2019.
Human rights and the principle or equal rights have become one of the fundamental principles on which the European Union is based. A discussion about how to protect people in all areas of social life against discrimination based on all the grounds the EU acknowledges still needs to get to a final conclusion. Nevertheless, the protection in the area of work is legally arranged. And the European Union policies agrees that trade unions have an important role to play in the battle against discrimination - including the discrimination of LGBTQI+ workers or applicants. Read more here.

European Commission

Ella Vogelaar

Former Dutch trade union leader's tragic death

On the 7th of October, 2019, Ella Vogelaar, former trade union leader and former politician in the Netherlands, has taken her own life.
Most people in the Netherlands know her as the minister for Housing, Neigbourhoods and Social Integration, a position she had in 2007 and 2008. The neighbourhoods she fought for, first qualified as deprived areas, became later known as 'Vogelaar neigbourhoods'. Her time as a minister was not easy: not only did the right-wing media and politicians attack her, but the support by her own social-democrat party was frail.
But she started her career in the Dutch trade union for education (ABOP), where she became board member as the gay and lesbian groups in this union started to work, and was a strong supporter of these groups. A few years later, she became chair of the ABOP, and vice-chair of the trade union federation FNV. Her political career started after this period.
After stepping down as minister, she worked in several other positions and organisations, including a corporation for building and letting homes for people with lower incomes. She was a woman of strong convictions, always working on solidarity with the deprived, the discriminated, the poor.
Vogelaar suffered from depressions in recent years. At the age of 69, she took her own life.
We are shocked and send our sympathies to the dear ones she left behind.

Polish poster

ETUC condems Polish 'LGBT-free zones'

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is appalled that Polish newspaper Gazeta Polska distributed today 'GBT free zone' stickers. Doing so could create unnecessary divisions and conflicts in workplaces and in society, as demonstrated by the violence against members of the LGTB community on Saturday. The trade union confederation
  • calls on the newspaper to desist from distributing such trouble-making stickers,
  • calls on the Polish and European authorities to condemn and take appropriate action against the publication and use of such stickers, and above
  • all calls on all people of Poland who want to live in peace and mutual respect to throw away such offensive stickers.
ETUC adopted a statement in 2017 renewing their commitment to equal treatment and non-discrimination, respect and dignity for LGBTQI* persons and workers, and at its Congress in 2019 adopted a manifesto committing to combat all forms of discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity.

TUC report on anti-LGBT harassment

68% of Brittain's LGBT workers have experienced sexual harassment at work. 12% of the female LGBT workers has experienced serious sexual assault or rape at work. These are some results of research performed by the British trade union organisation TUC, published in a report in April 2019. Read also why most workers affected did not report the incidents and more.
sexual harassment

transgenders, queerness and education

Spanish education union celebrates IDAHOT with special attention to transgenderism, queerness and education

How familiar does this sound: "Oh, an anti-gay insult in our school? Don't worry: we have no gay people in this school." One of the articles in this special issue of the Spanish teachers' union FE-CCOO about transgenders, queerness and education, published in the framework of IDAHOT 2019. For those who read Spanish.

Wellington World of Work meeting

Trade unionists and those who were interested gathered on March, 17, 2019, Wellington (New-Zealand) prior to the ILGA World Conference, and discussed the situation in their own countries and the way to strengthen the international networking on LGBTI trade union issues. Read more about this event on Facebook.
World of Work