Retail trade union Usdaw is celebrating the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) on May 17, with a call for action to tackle LGBT+ harassment in our workplaces and welcomes the theme of ‘breaking the silence’ for 2020.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Harassment is one of the biggest problems our LGBT+ members face in the workplace. The Equality Act makes it clear that harassment, including so called ‘jokes’, is unlawful. Employers must deal with any incidents quickly and effectively and take reasonable steps to prevent any such incidents from arising in the first place.

“Thousands of LGBT+ workers still don’t feel safe enough to be out about their sexual orientation or gender identity at work and some of these workers will be Usdaw members. So we welcome this year’s theme of breaking the silence, to give LGBT+ the confidence to speak out against harassment at work.

“Sexual harassment of LGBT+ workers is a trade union issue. Sexual harassment creates dangerous workplaces that harm everyone. Usdaw believes that everyone has a right to a safe and supportive working environment free from fear of harassment or discrimination.

“Usdaw is taking action to break the silence that surrounds sexual harassment. Prevention is better than taking action after the event. Usdaw works with members and reps to raise awareness of what sexual harassment is and how to report it. We also work with employers to negotiate workplace policies and procedures that aim to prevent harassment from arising in the first place and ensure incidents are dealt with fairly, quickly and confidentially.

“We campaign all year round to tackle sexual harassment at work encouraging activists and members to ‘call it out’. Today, on IDAHOTB, we put the spotlight on homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, standing together with our LGBT+ colleagues speaking out against harassment at work.”

Usdaw LGBT campaigning:

Usdaw’s ‘call it out campaign’ against sexual harassment:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

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