The right to collective bargaining has brought countless workers better wages and benefits. For LGBTQ workers, a union contract can be even more important. In the majority of states, it is still legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In these states, the fate of LGBTQ workers – and our families – is left to the whims of management. The union contract is really the only security on the job for LGBTQ workers. And even in states where stronger nondiscrimination laws exist, workers’ true power comes from standing together, united as a union.
Having a voice in collective bargaining is a huge, positive step toward securing LGBTQ-friendly, inclusive workplaces – from ensuring fair and safe work environments to fighting for wage and benefits equity. The labor movement has been advocating for the rights and equity of LGBTQ workers for decades, providing non-discrimination contract language and domestic partner benefits.