Working in Solidarity

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2008 National LGBT Conference
23 July 2008

Conference welcomes the progress made in raising the profile of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participation in our union. We can be proud of our achievements in continuing to support and encourage self organisation at all levels of our union.

Most of us take it for granted that we can organise and meet to discuss work problems, engage in political debate and challenge poor employer practices. Trade unionists in many other countries risk intimidation and even death for active membership of a union. In places all over the world, our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers face danger and are at risk of intimidation, abuse, violence and death just for being who they are.

Solidarity – joining together with others who share a common interest – is the very basis of trade unionism, and should not stop at national borders. It is vital then that we continue to support our sisters and brothers around the globe. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) world map depicting LGBT rights graphically illustrates countries which, for example, continue to criminalise consenting same sex activity, including some which retain the death penalty for such acts. Although it is encouraging to see an increasing number of countries with protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, it is sobering to see how far we still have to go.

Conference recognises that LGBT groups organise in ways that are culturally and politically appropriate to them. Conference affirms that solidarity actions must always be guided by the wishes of the other body, not our assumptions about their needs.

Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to continue to:

1Promote branch and regional membership of ILGA;

2Forge links with sister unions and LGBT organisations abroad;

3Publicise opportunities for individual members, branch and regional LGBT groups to engage in LGBT solidarity actions.