On December 1, World AIDS Day, unions around the world are taking action and working towards zero – zero discrimination, zero new infections and zero AIDS-related deaths. Unifor recognizes HIV/AIDS as a workplace, union and social justice issue and is committed to working with other unions, social partners and allies to tackle issues related to the spread of HIV/AIDS including sexual violence, health and development. We also recognize that securing treatment for people with HIV/AIDS requires us to fight against trade deals like the TPP which pose a real threat to accessible and affordable life-saving interventions.
Unifor calls on our governments to demonstrate real financial and institutional commitment to the effort to stop the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. We are doing our part. Through our social justice fund our Union continues to provide financial support to organizations in countries around the world, including Stephen Lewis’ “Aids Free World”.
Our Union also continues to fight to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. We have members, family, friends and neighbours who are living with HIV/AIDS. Yet, silence and shame surrounding the diseases remain. This social stigma prevents those who contract the virus from getting the support they need and contributes to the further spread of infection.
Unions have a role to play in prevention and education and in negotiating workplace policies and programs to support those living with HIV/AIDS. We must ensure that our members have secure workplace rights, harassment-free jobs, and access to the treatment and accommodation they need.
To support its work on HIV/Aids, Unifor has produced a booklet, “HIV/AIDS: A Worker Issue, a Union Issue” to be used as a tool to build awareness and solidarity. It can be downloaded from our website www.unifor.org and can be ordered by calling toll free: 1-800-268-5763.