Working People in Unions Stand with LGBTQ Brothers and Sisters Against Discrimination
April 18th, 2016 | Liz Shuler
Let’s be clear about North Carolina’s H.B. 2 and other “bathroom laws” popping up in states that would bar transgender people from using the restroom facility of their identified gender: We won’t stand for it.
H.B. 2 not only discriminates against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, but it also means employers can now fire anyone because of their religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability or veteran status. North Carolina abolished 30 years of legal protections against workplace discrimination.
This law even bars cities and municipalities from passing legislation on nondiscrimination, paid leave, fair scheduling and raising the minimum wage.
Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride At Work, said:
In states desperately in need of jobs and infrastructure, lawmakers are focused on legalizing discrimination and harassing people in restrooms. It’s just astounding. Pride at Work condemns these regressive laws as well as those in other states, including those that are still pending. We also call upon Congress to swiftly pass the Equality Act at the federal level in order to nullify the injustice of these attempts to circumvent progress for the LGBTQ community.
North Carolina State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan said:
It’s crazy that at a time when our elected officials should be doing all they can to create jobs and get more people employed that they’re actually wasting taxpayer money to create a law that’s going to make it easier to discriminate and fire people. And, in the process, they’re driving business out of our state because these corporations don’t want to do business in a state that supports discrimination.
To put it simply, H.B. 2 and similar legislation mean more discrimination, weaker benefits, less safe workplaces and lower wages.
This blog was originally posted on aflcio.org on April 15, 2016. Reprinted with permission.
Liz Shuler was elected AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer in September 2009, the youngest person ever to become an officer of the AFL-CIO. Shuler previously was the highest-ranking woman in the Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, serving as the top assistant to the IBEW president since 2004. In 1993, she joined IBEW Local 125 in Portland, Ore., where she worked as an organizer and state legislative and political director. In 1998, she was part of the IBEW’s international staff in Washington, D.C., as a legislative and political representative.