For those of you who follow the labor movement you know that things are in flux. My union, SEIU, has proposed a dramatic shift in the operations of the AFL-CIO. Though I am very nervous about this move, I agree that it is very important for the AFL-CIO to evaluate its operations and effectiveness. SEIU announced this plan in December, and the Teamster’s Union responded with a response in December. Though more conservative than our proposal, it is a proposal for change, which means gears are turning.
With all of that history quickly being laid out, one can realize that change is near for the country’s largest labor federation. This week Pride at Work, issued a proposal of their own for consideration to the Unite to Win campaign. What is interesting about this proposal is a couple things, first is it comes from the AFL-CIO itself. This is not a labor union associated with AFL-CIO but a constituency organization of AFL-CIO itself.
I like the pressure on union leadership to remember that queer rights in this country are workers’ rights. The day-to-day discrimination queer people experience is centered in the work place. Whether, it is the inability to get healthcare for a lover or the inability to come out and take about our family, people are constantly discriminated in the workplace. It is our responsibility to change the attitude of or members toward queer people.
Though there are very few solid goals in this piece, I was very happy to see Pride at Work getting involved in the movement toward change. I hope they can use this opportunity to assert themselves as a viable issue organizing body. We have a moment when two movements can intertwine to help one another to actually change American culture.