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2010 National LGBT Conference
30 July 2010

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 in a union. This is all the more dangerous for our LGBT brothers and sisters, who risk intimidation, abuse 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 brothers and sisters around the globe. The updated 2010 ILGA world map depicting LGBT rights illustrates graphically which countries still have draconian sentences, including the death penalty, on the statutes for identifying as LGBT, and although it is encouraging to see that full protections and recognitions have grown in number, it is quite shocking to see how far we still have to go to ensure full equality for LGBT people.

Britain’s economy and political system are interdependent with Europe and the rest of the world. It is hugely important therefore that UNISON, and we as activists, continue our work with sister trade unions and key international organisations to promote and protect its members’ interests and concerns.

Conference instructs the national committee to:

1.Continue to promote membership of ILGA through its Regional and Branch networks;

2.Liaise with UNISON’s National International Committee to promote awareness of LGBT specific atrocities in countries that fall within the international work programme, and to further encourage UNISON’s Regional International Committees to include an LGBT element to their work programmes;

3.Make every effort to work with the International Committee in solidarity with other trade unions to eradicate the inequality of LGBT rights in the world – ie: The International Trade Union Congress (ITUC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), European Federation of Public Services (EPSU) Public Services International (PSI), Education International (EI) Workers Out etc;

4.That the National LGBT Committee continues to alert its members for opportunities to support our LGBT brothers and sisters abroad and to engage in dialogue showing our solidarity. This can be a message for support for those whose prides are being banned.