I have my own personal comments and reflections on the process of drafting the Action Plan and the politics of the Montreal Declaration, but I’ll save them for when I migrate my posts to a personal blog on queer library and union issues.
Here’s the text of the Workers Out Action Plan that is part of the Montreal Declaration.
In the spirit of the two declarations adopted during the previous Workers Out Conferences held in Amsterdam in 1998 and in Sydney in 2002 as well as the one carried at the International LGBT Forum of EI-PSI in 2004 and the goals that were determined at the time, the delegates to the third “Workers Out!” conference held in Montreal from July 26 to 29, 2006 are:
- aware that trade union conditions in each country may be very different, ranging from the right to organize recognized by charter, for some, to imprisonment and death for anyone attempting to form a trade union, for others;
- aware that religious fundamentalism is a major obstacle to the progress of LGBT rights and that we need to take this into account in their work;
- aware that the advancement of human rights and particularly those involving sexual orientation, sexual diversity and gender identity may be very different, ranging from full and complete recognition in certain countries, to imprisonment and death for any LGBT in some others;
- aware that the notion of work can differ from one country to another, but unanimous on the fact that persecution, intimidation, harassment and criminalization are unacceptable for all of the LGBT communities including sex workers;
- aware that the specific reality in each country can have a significant positive or negative influence on the progress that the trade union movement can make in achieving the rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, transsexuals, transvestites and intersexuals.
On each level of their Trade Union organisations
The delegates to the third “Workers Out!” conference agree that the plan of action should be as simple and concrete as possible so that trade union movements in each country that wish to put it into practice can do so in their own way and according to the means and support available to them. They recommend:
- the promotion of education concerning human rights and trade union rights to create awareness, prevention and elimination of prejudices and problems caused by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual diversity;
- the recognition by the Labour movement of LGBT rights and the fight against homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia;
- the establishment of LGBT rights committees or groups within each local, national or international union structure;
- the negotiation of collective agreement clauses prohibiting any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual diversity, and ensuring that LGBT issues are included in the contents of collective bargaining, notably the recognition of same sex partners and their families, and by addressing the issue of harassment and bullying in the workplace.
- the establishment of HIV-AIDS policies in the workplace that respect the rights of infected and affected workers, and to recognize the double discrimination experienced by LGBT people living with HIV-AIDS.
- the involvement in political action targeting all levels of government in support of legislation and policy changes that recognize full equality and respect for LGBT people;
- the development of different forms of cooperation between unions in countries from the global north and those from the global south in order to reinforce the fight for recognition of LGBT rights in the workplace and in wider society.
On the international level,
The delegates to the third “Workers Out!” conference recommend that the Global Unions, in particular the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, The World Congress of Labour, the forthcoming International Trade Union Confederation, Global Union Federations and their respective Regional organisations:
- draw upon and distribute guidelines concerning the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual diversity and gender identity in the workplace;
- distribute the guides and the best practices already in existence among unions throughout the world;
Also, the delegates request that their Labour Organisations require the International Labour Organization:
- to offer technical assistance to union and social partners in order to abolish discrimination against LGBTs in hiring, at work and on retirement;
- to develop and disseminate guidelines related to the elimination of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
They also recommend that their respective Unions ensure the follow-up of this work.
Lastly, the delegates to the third “Workers Out!” conference want to continue the association with GLISA (Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association) so that the fourth “Workers Out!” conference will be a distinct and self-determined part of the International LGBT Human Rights Conference to be organized in conjunction with the second Outgames, which will be held in 2009 in Copenhagen.
Furthermore, the delegates recommend that the Montreal 2006 LGBT Human Rights Conference Organizing Committee liaise with the Organizers of the Copenhagen Outgames and the Copenhagen LGBT Human Rights Conference
- To ensure that advertising and information material reflect the diversity of our communities as much as possible and promote the rights of women;
- To ensure that all future Workers Out, LGBT Human Rights Conference and Outgames be inclusive of participants’ partner and children with the presence of organized childcare and related programming;
- To ensure that diversity caucuses be integrated at all of these future international conferences.