International Resolution

WHEREAS, the members and allies of Pride @ Work share a common bond with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers around the world;

WHEREAS, corporations and anti-union campaigns often operate on a global not simply U.S.-based strategy;

WHEREAS, many of the international unions of Pride @ Work are engaged in global struggles, acting in solidarity across the globe under labor’s motto, “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”;

WHEREAS, unions and labor federations across the globe are engaging in the struggle for LGBT workers’ right to live with safety, dignity, respect and social and economic equality and justice;

WHEREAS, in addition to standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the globe, we have much we can and must learn about both their struggles and their strategies for success;

WHEREAS, the Canadian Labour Congress has engaged the Canadian labor movement in education, discussion and action on best practices for representing transgender workers;

WHEREAS, Since the 2009 coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Honduras Manuel Zeleya, hundreds of LGBT and labor activists have been murdered;

WHEREAS, Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for labor organizers with 218 unionists murdered over the last five years with dozens more attempted murders and thousands of death threats;

WHEREAS, Coca-Cola workers in Columbia and around the world are among the most terrorized, with nine union leaders murdered in Columbia (most recently in January, 2012) and two leaders, William Mendoza and Juan Carlos Galvis, face imprisonment under bogus charges of planting a bomb in a Coke factory in 1998, based on the testimony of a death squad leader who bragged about committing 45 murders, and imprisonment could mean that they would be murdered in jail;

WHEREAS, reports that hundreds of workers from GM’s Colmotores plant in Colombia have been fired after suffering serious injuries on the job without compensation, without healthcare and without pensions;

WHEREAS, despite the grave risks, 68 of those workers joined together to form ASOTRECOL (the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia);

WHEREAS, the UAW has met with fired Colombian GM workers who are facing struggles so grave, they launched a hunger strike, sewing their mouths shut in effort to bring their grave conditions to the world’s attention;

WHEREAS, although India is often the country most associated with foreign call centers, there has been a trend in recent years for American companies to open call centers in other often countries such as the Philippines, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Mexico, and the Czech Republic;

WHEREAS, 20,000 telecom workers in Mexico City at Telefonica/Atento who tried to vote for real union representation were threatened and intimidated, offered bribes and kept from voting by company fraud;

WHEREAS, despite the neutrality agreement the company had signed, Telefonica/Atento ran a brutal campaign of threats, firings, outrageous lies and bribes, and denied the opportunity to vote to scores of workers while allowing ineligible workers to cast ballots;

WHEREAS, consenting sex by same-sex adult couples remains punishable by imprisonment or death in Uganda, Ghana (men), Zambia, Western Sahara, Belize, Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Trindad and Tobago, and elsewhere; [Countries in the world where consenting sex with same-sex adults is criminalized: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Gaza (Occupied Palestinian Territory), India*, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq*, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (unrecognised state), Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Cook Islands (New Zealand associate), Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu. * legal status is not cleari]

WHEREAS, these campaigns are sometimes funded by anti-LGBT organizations in the U S;

WHEREAS, despite tremendous progress on LGBT equality in the U.S., reports that “Gay, transgender, and gender nonconforming youth are significantly over-represented in the [U.S.] juvenile justice system—approximately 300,000 gay and transgender youth are arrested and/or detained each year, of which more than 60 percent are black or Latino. Though gay and transgender youth represent just 5 percent to 7 percent of the nation’s overall youth population, they compose 13 percent to 15 percent of those currently in the juvenile justice system”;

WHEREAS, Pride @ Work leaders have begun discussion with the Solidarity Center regarding LGBT / labor solidarity work in Mexico, other parts of Central and South America, the U.K., countries in Africa and other parts of the world;

WHEREAS, in 2012 the Solidarity Center and AFL-CIO hosted an international forum on HIV/AIDS and the world of work, convening labor, business and community leaders;

WHEREAS, Pride @ Work leadership have begun discussion with Mexican LGBT leaders including:

  • Mr. Manuel AMADOR VELAZQUEZ, Political Action Coordinator, Gay Men’s Forum, a community-based organization
  • Dr. Hector Miguel CORRAL ESTRADA , Chair, Youth Coalition for Sexual Health and Education (COJESS), Mexico City
  • Ms. Ana Elizabeth DE ALEJANDRO GARCIA, Bilingual Agent for Teleperformance, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
  • Mr. Ivan Enrique GOMEZ TAGLE DURAND, Coordinator of GRUPO JOVEN LGBT Mexico (Young LGBT Leaders
  • Mr. Gabriel GUTIERREZ GARCIA, Host, Local Radio Program, “Codigo Diverso in Codigo D.F.,” Mexico City’s Culture Secretariat
  • Ms. Josefina Lizeth MARTINEZ TORRES, Legal Coordinator, Center for the Migrant Human Rights, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua
  • Mr. Rodrigo RINCON JIMENEZ, Director of Cohesion de Diversidades para la Sustentabilidad, AC (CODISE), Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua;

WHEREAS, the U.N. Secretary General stated, “As men and women of conscience, we reject discrimination in general, and in particular discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. When individuals are attacked, abused or imprisoned because of their sexual orientation, we must speak out. We cannot stand by, silent. This all the more true in cases of violence. These are not merely assaults on individuals. They are attacks on all of us”;

WHEREAS, at the UN Human Rights Council which was meeting in Geneva, Switzerland the American Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared: “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights”; and,

WHEREAS, President Barack Obama had instructed every member of his cabinet and every department of the Federal Government to protect LGBT people from discrimination. The directive to all government agencies orders them to:

  • Combat the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad
  • Protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers
  • Leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination
  • Ensure swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad
  • Engage international organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination
  • Report on progress.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work re-affirms our commitment to LGBT equality and social and economic justice for all workers as an international commitment that is directly connected to our struggles within the U.S.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work commits to increase education and dialogue amongst our members and leaders on issues of international solidarity on LGBT equality and workers’ rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work re-affirms our commitment that we will not be silent in the face of injustice, whether in the U.S. or abroad;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work endorses the September 17, 2012 International Day of Solidarity with Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colombia (ASOTRECOL),

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work urges union members and LGBT activists to participate in the annual rally and vigil to close the School of the Americas November 17-18 in Fort Benning, GA.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work commits to develop a strategic plan for engaging our members and leaders that connects with our LGBT and labor community priority international struggles, and prioritizes opportunites for greatest need and effect within the limited resources of our nonprofit;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work shall seek resources and in-kind support to effective pursuit of this solidarity work, building coalition and collaboration with partners doing similar work in other countries;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work shall seek to establish ongoing relationships with labor organizations and trade unions in other countries, and specifically with LGBT groups within them, to work to promote common goals on the rights of LGBT working people; and,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work stands for the universal right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all workers across the globe to live whole and open lives and work with safety, dignity, respect, equality and economic justice.