Pride at Work in Pennsylvania Stands Up for LGBT Brothers and Sisters

Unknown-5The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is proud to highlight the incredible contributions of our Sisters and Brothers at Pride at Work – PA, who fight for our LGBT colleagues every day in our quarterly newsletter, News and Views.

Over the past few years, Pride at Work – PA continues to build their group and participate in events to build both LGBT and labor union power.  The Pride at Work banner was carried by Steelworkers Local 3657 members and SEIU Healthcare and Pitt faculty marchers at the People’s Pride in Pittsburgh.  That same day,  Pride at Work marchers from UFCW, CWA, SEIU, IBEW, TWU, AFT were also at the National Equality March in Washington DC.  Participating in the resistance movement that is protesting the new Administration’s anti-worker, anti-LGBT agenda has been a focus since January.

At the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Board June meeting, Chapter Co-President Michele Kessler requested that PA Labor Leaders help build our Pride at Work Chapter by connecting us with LGBT union members and Allies.  She announced a grant has been secured to conduct an LGBT issue training later this year in PA.  She noted the projects Pride at Work has partnered with local unions and CLC’s over the past year and encouraged unions to contact her or Matt Yarnell from SEIU Healthcare PA to work together to increase LGBT inclusiveness.  

Some priorities for the rest of 2017 include continuing to fight to pass the PA Fairness Act (non-discrimination state law); to help local unions negotiate more LGBT inclusive language in contracts including adding transgender healthcare benefits; to have a presence at union and LGBT events, like Philadelphia’s OUTFEST in October.  “An injury to one is an injury to all” captures the soul of our movement and motivates the existence of Pride at Work.  Contact Michele at mkessler@ufcw1776.org for more information.

Michele Kessler is a Vice President of the PA AFL-CIO, President of Pride at Work – PA and the Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 1776.

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