The IUF-affiliated United Food and Commercial Workers’ (UFCW) LGBTQ+ constituency group OUTreach and the UCLA Labor Center have conducted a survey of members across the U.S. and Canada to examine today’s workplace climate and equity for LGBTQ+ workers. Over 1000 UFCW rank and file members participated in the survey and expressed their views on LGBTI workers’ rights and issues including union organizing and members’ priorities.
The new binational report called “Union Values and LGBTQ+ Worker Experiences: A Survey of UFCW Workers in the United States and Canada” shows that UFCW LGBTQ+ union members and their allies are leading the way in challenging discriminatory laws and policies.
The report found that advocacy efforts by rank-and-file members of the UFCW have broadened support for union organizing for safer and more equitable workplaces for LGBTQ workers in the U.S. and Canada. Despite that the fight toward ending workplace discrimination is far from over.
Two key important findings of the report are:
- 87% of union members believe LGBTQ+ workers should be protected by their union contracts. And more than two-thirds of respondents said that nondiscrimination protections in collective bargaining agreements should be a top priority for local unions to improve conditions for LGBTQ+ workers. (Please find the IUF brochure on bargaining demands for LGBTI workers’ rights here)
- Almost three-quarters (71%) of members who identify as LGBTQ+ said that working to elect pro-LGBTQ+ candidates would motivate them to participate in union and political activities, and more than half (58%) would be motivated by working to elect pro-union candidates.
The researchers hope that the findings can inform discussions and strengthen union organizing related to equity for LGBTQ workers across industries.
The IUF congratulates UFCW for its pioneering activities in the struggle for justice, protection and equity for all.