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Trans rights are workers’ rights: ITF statement on Trans Day of Visibility 2023

news 31 Mar 2023

The ITF stands in solidarity with our trans comrades, friends, siblings and members around the world - today, and all days year-round.

“As the labour movement, our founding principle and the very bedrock of everything we do is solidarity,” said Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary. “Standing together against oppression wherever it takes place and whoever the perpetrator is.”

Recent years have seen a significant increase in bigotry and vitriol directed at trans people - from a relentless barrage of media hostility and an increase in hate crimes, to coordinated legislative efforts to strip trans people of rights and dignity, particularly in the USA and UK.

Cotton added: “These attacks are a disgrace in and of themselves, and it is incumbent on all trade union members to speak out against them, and to actively work to tackle transphobia in our own workplaces and communities.”

“But these attacks are also a blatant attempt at distraction. With economies around the world still reeling from the effects of Covid-19, compounding decades of austerity and neoliberalism, it is working people who are suffering. Equivalent to governments scapegoating migrants or other minority communities, attacks on trans people offer no solutions to any of the problems facing our communities.”

As reaffirmed at our recent Urban Transport conference in South Africa, the ITF stands in solidarity with all members of the LGBT+ community - and we are proud to do so. We will continue to advocate for the elimination of all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination against transport workers, including trans workers, by demanding the ratification and effective implementation of ILO Convention 190 in all countries. We will also keep up the pressure on governments and employers to respect workers’ sanitation rights, taking into account the particular needs of trans workers.

Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, an injury to one is an injury to all.