Building diversity and inclusion in trade unions and the workplace


Building diversity and inclusion in trade unions and the workplace

South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world: its Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender (among other things) and includes several protections relating to labour and employment. There are also many laws, policies and agreements in place that address human rights in the workplace. Despite these many protections, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers continue to experience discrimination, harassment and violence

One of the things trade unions can do to end homophobia and create safe and inclusive workplaces is modelling activists to have increased consciousness, passion, knowledge and skills to advocate for rights, policies, collective bargaining agreements and organisational cultural changes that promote inclusive practices and policies for workers who are LGBT+.

Our LGBTI rights booklet has five primary aims:

  1. To provide an overview of existing laws, policies and agreements, as well as information on how to make use of these protections.
  2. To explain relevant international responses to LGBT rights in the workplace.
  3. To share real-life experiences of LGBT workers, including examples of what they have done to address workplace discrimination.
  4. To inform employers, trade unions, human resource departments and others on the challenges facing LGBT workers, and how these can be better addressed.
  5. To offer practical suggestions on how to move forward, for example, what is needed to improve conditions and who needs to be involved.

Know more about our work supporting trade union activists in creating inclusive and safe spaces where LGBTI+ workers feel free to claim and exercise their rights.

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