Marty Warren Statement for Pride Month

Pride heartIn June this year, Steelworkers from all across Canada join with LGBT communities to celebrate Pride Month.

As a union, there are many opportunities in our communities to take part in LGBT activities. One of the largest Pride events in the country is Pride Month in Toronto, including the Trans March, the Dyke March, and the Pride Parade. www.pridetoronto.com/pride-month/

For communities outside Ontario, social media and the internet are good platforms to direct you to events in your area.

For our workplaces in Ontario, the enactment of a legislative amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act should happen by the end of 2016. This amendment is Bill 132: An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related matters.

This new legislation will mean that the union will have greater ability to ensure protection at work, and fairness in promotion and hiring. For our LGBT community, the enactment of Bill 132 includes added protection against discrimination and harassment related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

While June is a month of celebration for LGBT communities, activists and allies, it must be remembered that the fight for equality must take place throughout the year. In our workplaces, we must continue to fight for transition leaves, parental leaves and harassment and bullying policies.

I urge our members to:

  • Elect or support a Human Rights Committee to ensure the employer’s compliance with updated human rights legislation.
  • Promote our revised two-or-three-hour “Preventing and Dealing with Harassment in the Workplace” workshop.
  • Attend Pride Month events in your community.
  • Negotiate strong collective agreement language, particularly for equality-seeking groups such as LGBT.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
Director, District 6

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