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STUC LGBT+ Conference: Usdaw calls for support for non-binary workers and action to tackle LGBT+ hate crime

Date: 20 May 2022 Retail trade union Usdaw has a delegation of members, reps and officials attending the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) conference, taking place this weekend in Glasgow.
Usdaw is highlighting the crucial role trade unions have in realising, protecting and promoting equality and rights at work for non-binary people; alongside expressing  grave  concerns at  the steep rise in LGBT+ hate crime. 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The rise in homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes is an urgent and global concern.  Crimes related to sexual orientation and gender identity have increased almost every year since at least 2015 and are a stark reminder that LGBT+ equality is far from a lived reality for may LGBT+ people.  It highlights that LGBT+ people are still at risk of abuse and attack for no other reason than for being themselves.
“Pre pandemic bullying, misgendering, harassment and violence in the workplace was a daily reality for far too many LGBT+ workers, leading to a significant minority concealing their identity from people they work with. The coronavirus crisis appears to have further entrenched this. Unions must continue to promote LGBT+ equality, defending and progressing rights at work and raising awareness of what hate crime is and how to report it.”
Usdaw is calling for unions to alert reps to the possibility of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse and discrimination in their workplaces and give them the tools and training to effectively challenge it; and promote LGBT+ equality and tackle discrimination in their campaigning, bargaining and training work
Paddy Lillis continues: “Union reps are keen to better understand what it means to be non-binary and the practical steps they can take to make their workplaces safe and inclusive for non-binary workers. However it can be difficult to get hold of accurate and accessible information due to the lack of existing research into the experience and views of non-binary people as a distinct group.  Nor are non-binary people well represented in public life, the media or in workplaces and communities.  This absence of research into non-binary people’s distinct views and needs further reinforces invisibility, prejudice, discrimination and stigma.”
Usdaw is calling for:
  • Support for affiliates in their work to promote awareness of non-binary issues specifically and gender identity more broadly.
  • Sharing examples of effective training, campaigning and collective bargaining tools
  • Continue to ensure the voice and experience of non-binary activists and members remain at the centre of their campaigning and educational work on this issue. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For further information please contact Usdaw’s Media Officer, David Williams on: 0161 249 2469, 07798 696 603 or by e-mail to [email protected]
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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