June 12, 2024
Combatting Anti-2SLGBTQ+ Hate through Education, Awareness & Advocacy
UFCW TUAC Pride Flag raised in the air

Toronto – June 12, 2024 – Happy Pride! As we look to celebrate the diversity of 2SLGBTQ+ UFCW members in pride festivals across the US and Canada, we acknowledge that the first Pride was a protest and that fighting for 2SLGBTQ+ rights is a union value that extends beyond Pride season.

UFCW Canada continues to support 2SLGBTQ+ organizations including Egale Human Rights Trust, by funding work to combat hateful litigation and policies against 2SLGBTQ+ communities.  Check out their Rainbow Action Hub.

We continue to support grassroots and worker centered movements such as the Rainbow Action Week in May, created by Momentum Canada, and supported by UFCW Young Worker Internship Program Participants who were vocal in saying no to hate! Check out the social media post.

Following the release of the 2020 UFCW OUTreach binational member survey outlining the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ union members in US and Canadian workplaces, UFCW OUTreach has also continued to equip local unions with tools to fight anti-discrimination. Countering misgendering, access to workplace washrooms that correspond with a worker’s gender identity, and strengthening pronoun affirming workplace cultures are top of mind in all UFCW represented sectors. One of the most efficient ways to forge progressive change has remained through the delivery of training and education. This March, UFCW OUTreach led a 2SLGBTQ+ awareness training for Beam Suntory workers represented by UFCW Local 401 in Calgary, Alberta. Workers in all shifts had opportunities to ask questions in a safe space and to learn about the impact of allyship and advocacy in strengthening a culture of inclusion.

“The majority of workers felt that the distillery should be an inclusive place for all workers. The UFCW OUTreach training gave them new resources to rely on after the training concluded and supported a continuous learning mindset. They understood what being a good ally entails,” noted Laura Kelley, OUTreach vice-chair and trainer.

The training was made possible through a collaboration led by the local union, the employer and UFCW OUTreach. OUTreach is scheduled to lead additional trainings in multiple sectors in the summer of 2024.

In April and May, UFCW OUTreach also led two successful virtual sessions entitled “Six Ways to Champion 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in Your Union”. In these sessions, OUTreach board members shared best practices on collective bargaining, communication, representation, advocacy and allyship initiatives being led by local unions across the UFCW. Check out UFCW OUTreach new resources.

For Pride season, OUTreach has teamed up with Drag Academy, a 2SLGBTQ+ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion-focused organization, for a 3-part webinar series. Participate in the last training of this series, “The Art of Allyship in the Workplace and Beyond”, set to run virtually on June 18th.

Beyond this, UFCW OUTreach and local union initiatives to support 2SLGBTQ+ rights are noted in a recent article released by Xtra entitled “Unions have a long history of fighting for trans rights. And they’re not giving up now”. It asserts that union work is critical to fighting for trans rights across Canada.

This July, UFCW OUTreach will join Eastern Canada activists in Halifax, Nova Scotia for their bi-annual Executive Board meeting and to participate in the Halifax Pride Parade!

Love is Love! Happy Pride.