Unifor members join national week of action in solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities

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The National Rainbow Week of Action, May 11—17, drew together thousands of union leaders, workers, community activists, and supporters who issued a national call for unity and equality in Canada. 

The week featured a prominent social media campaign, rallies in communities across the country, and letter writing drives to demand that politicians take action against rising anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate.

“Unifor members refuse to be divided by bigotry and are fighting hard every day to create  fairer society for all because we know that worker power starts with solidarity,” says Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“We’re building a Canada where we can all be free to be our true selves, feel safe at work and in our communities, and be treated with dignity and respect.”

A large rally on May 16 gathered hundreds of supporters in Toronto’s downtown Barbara Hall Park on Church Street.

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“Each action we take to challenge the status quo contributes to a society where we can all belong and feel safe. Each step we take to resist division and instead foster unity is a bold act of solidarity,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Samia Hashi in a speech to rally participants.

Amidst rising hate and division fueled by political scapegoating, week of action participants strongly urged governments to address key issues like affordability, housing, healthcare, and fair wages instead of targeting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

“The Rainbow Week of Action was a pivotal moment for our union—as it united 2SLGBTQIA+ workers and allies in demanding action against hate,” says Paige Maylott, Unifor Local 5555 Pride Committee Chair and member of the Ontario Regional Council LGBT Committee. 

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“We can no longer tolerate silence from those in power on these critical issues. It is time to reject divisive agendas and hold elected leaders to account for their inaction.”

The week concludes on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, an international campaign to raise awareness and take action to combat the challenges, discrimination, and violence faced by queer and trans people.

Unifor is proud to partner with Society of Queer Momentum’s Rainbow Week of Action as part of the union’s on-going commitment and work to foster inclusion and equity.  Unifor recognizes that the fight for justice and equality cannot be won without working directly with equity deserving communities to address and dismantle the systemic barriers that perpetuate hate and inequality.

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Paul Whyte