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Unifor Statement on the Trans Day of Remembrance

Posted in Unifor Local 88

Shared from Unifor National website

Unifor recognises November 20 as the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR). November 20 is a day of mourning, as our union comes together to recognize those whose lives – overwhelmingly Black trans women and femmes – have been taken due to anti-trans violence.

Unifor’s own constitution asserts the union’s commitment to equity and inclusion, to ensure equality for all members regardless of gender identity and to fight for their rights in our workplaces, communities, and in broader society.

On November 20, 2021, Unifor recognizes that the fight for safety and equity for trans and non-binary people is far from won.

We mourn the lives lost and stand alongside trans members and their families as they seek to live with the dignity, safety and freedom that we all need and deserve.

Trans rights are human rights. No person should be subject to discrimination, intimidation or violence because of their gender expression or identity.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered in her home in 1998.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith

  1. Attend a vigil on November 20 and learn the names and stories of those who were lost. Many TDOR vigils include the reading of the names of people taken by to anti-trans violence. This is an important memorial to victims around the world.
  2. Include a moment of silence for murdered trans people at your next union event or meeting. Take time to pause and recognize those who have been taken by this violence, and commit to continue to work against it as a union.
  3. Support trans people in your union and community. Members can also support trans people in the workplace, and at the bargaining table by negotiating gender-natural washrooms, gender-inclusive PPEs and uniforms, expanded medical benefits including mental health care, and other bargaining priorities in Unifor’s 2019 Collective Bargaining Program.

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Unifor invites all trans and gender non-binary members to become involved in their locals and union. Reach out to Sarah McCue, LGBTQ Staff Liaison at pride@unifor.org.