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Check out our column on the right hand side to see our other reports throughout the years.
“Sweeney, then President of SEIU, announced his full support of the fight of LGBTQ workers for equal rights and protections. At that time there was not much backing from national organizations fighting for our rights, and Sweeney was among the first to take a stand in our support.
“Throughout the following decade, LGBTQ workers continued to form groups around the country, but we still were not recognized or materially supported by the national AFL-CIO. The lack of solidarity stood out, since other groups who had joined together for mutual aid and support, now called constituency groups, were recognized and given financial support from the national labor movement.
“It wasn’t until 1997, two years after Sweeney ran and won the leadership of the AFL-CIO, that Pride at Work was recognized as the official constituency group for LGBTQ workers. Sweeney assigned Linda Chavez Thompson, the first woman of color to be an officer of the national labor federation, to advocate for recognition and financial support of queer workers’ organizing efforts.
“At the same time, Pride at Work broadened the scope of its efforts by advocating for marriage equality. Sweeney continued to speak out for the rights of LGBTQ workers to receive the same benefits that straight workers enjoyed.
“In closing let me say that while I’m sure Pride at Work would have existed without the support of John Sweeney, I’m sure it would have taken many more years. We stand on his shoulders, and those of all the pioneer trade unionists who stood up for justice for all.”
As the year draws to a close, we want to thank you for everything you’ve done to make our unions, workplaces, and communities better for LGBTQ working people. Despite the challenges of this year, you showed up, you did the work, and we’re all moving forward because of it.
Pride at Work has been there too.
· We created one of the first and most comprehensive COVID-19 resources for LGBTQ working people.
· We endorsed Joe Biden for president, our first endorsement of a presidential candidate in our history, and then worked hard to get him elected. We held online rallies, virtual brunches, and educational events.
· We took a stand for Black lives and will continue to push labor leaders to not only say “Black Lives Matter” but to put their money where their mouths are.
Labor leaders must demand the shift in resources from policing to education, health, protecting the environment, jobs, and other social services. They must also work to end the white supremacy and straight male dominance that penetrates the top levels of management and executive boards in the labor movement. The leaders of the labor movement should be as diverse as our members. It’s time for marginalized communities to be lifted up as the faces and leaders of our movement.
2020 is a year none of us will forget soon. Globally, we have faced a once-in-a-century pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives. Nationally, the fallout from the pandemic has created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Layered on top of that, the scourge of systemic racism and police brutality in America boiled over into righteous anger and demands for justice and change.
There have also been some amazing advances in 2020 as well. After a Supreme Court ruling in June, LGBTQ working people are now protected by federal law from discrimination on the job. We also saw the Supreme Court stop this Administration’s dismantling of the DACA program, so thousands of Dreamers have been able to maintain their status in the program. And, most importantly, voters chose to change course and put a pro-equality, pro-worker, pro-union president in the White House.
We need to hold this new administration accountable to the bold and substantial promises they made. We have to press forward on important legislation, like the Equality Act and certain reforms to our democratic institutions. And as we look toward what the end of the COVID crisis will look like, we need to address the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on our community and others.
We are stronger together. Bring it 2021.
Pride At Work
Pride at Work members participated in “Postcards to Swing States”. Voters who receive handwritten postcards are significantly more likely to vote. We are sending over 300 postcards to Georgia, Kentucky and Florida. Members are devoted to the election until Nov 3rd VOTE!