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The Union is for Everyone

Martina Manicastri
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June is Pride Month, a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising of LGBTQ+ activists pushing back against violent police raids of gay bars in New York, including the famous Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Uprising is a testament to the queer community’s fight for civil and economic rights, which continues today as a barrage of anti-LGBTQ+, especially anti-trans, legislation gains increasing traction across the U.S. 

According to the Center for American Progress, half of LGBTQ+ people reported experiencing some kind of workplace discrimination including being denied a promotion, being fired, having their hours cut, or experiencing verbal or physical harassment at work as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Jerame Davis, activist and Executive Director of Pride at Work, believes that “a union contract is the best protection LGBTQ+ people can achieve at work.”

Unions are known as the great equalizer in cases of racial, gender, and sexuality based discrimination because union contracts provide all workers with equal rights in the workplace. In a study conducted by UCLA, 70% of queer workers unionized by the UFCW said they felt protected by their union contracts and that the union had taken concrete steps to support them. In an increasingly hostile political climate, unions can provide material security for LGTBQ+ workers. 

And of course, the LGBTQ+ community has always been a fierce ally to the labor movement. Whether it was supporting striking workers during the Coors boycott and strike in the 1970s, or now as Starbucks workers push for better working conditions. The labor movement and the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is one in the same, and we are stronger united. 

CWA Local 1036 is proud to stand in support of the LGBTQ+ community and we wish all our LGBTQ+ members a Happy Pride Month.