Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. We hope our members will take a minute to read the statement below from Unifor National President, Lana Payne. More than that, we encourage members to add their name to the Petition to the House of Commons calling on the Government of Canada to extend to transgender and nonbinary people the right to claim asylum in Canada.
Unifor recognizes and invites all members to celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. This annual day celebrates the value and resilience of transgender people both within the union and around the world.
Transphobia and anti-trans discrimination is on a dangerous and violent rise in Canada and around the world and is closely associated with growing far-right movements and political parties.
This makes workers’ commitments to equity and justice more urgent at every bargaining table, kitchen table, workplace and community space.
Recent legal gains, such as the amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and expression and updates to the Criminal Code to include gender identity relating to hate crimes and implement Canada’s conversion therapy law, are important legal steps. But these rights cannot be protected and realized without a strong foundation of social movements oriented towards justice.
The fight for trans rights, dignity, and equality demands our continued effort. As workers, we understand the importance of vocal allyship. We must never forget that our allyship is predicated on actively listening and making change with, and for, trans communities.
A slew of anti-trans laws adopted across the United States and the United Kingdom reverberated in LGBTQ2 communities and families in recent months. These laws should serve as a reminder to all workers of the fragility of legal protections, and the importance of devoted solidarity for trans, non-binary and two-spirit people.
Unifor encourages members to join more than 140,000 Canadians in signing a petition calling on the Government of Canada to extend to transgender and nonbinary people the right to claim asylum in Canada by reason of eliminationist laws in their home countries, whatever country that may be.
Trans, non-binary and two-spirit members continue to help build our union and strengthen our movement both in Canada and around the world. Our union and society are made better, more educated, and compassionate through their contributions and labour.
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Unifor National President