The AFL-CIO’s LGBT constituency group Pride at Work is declaring war on the Human Rights Campaign.
The LGBT workers’ organization this weekend approved a scathing resolution that calls on members and organizations to stop funding the Human Rights Campaign until the advocacy group addresses what Pride at Work sees as huge and detrimental issues and problems with HRC’s yearly Corporate Equality Index.
The opening of the page-long resolution indicates the tone of Pride at Work’s message, and its ongoing frustration with the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization.
“Too often, HRC has catered to its big-moneyed donors at the expense of those who live on the margins. These misguided priorities have disproportionately impacted the transgender community, people of color, and workers, and; … LGBT consumers look to the CEI when deciding how to spend their hard-earned money.”
Pride at Work argues, “the CEI should paint an accurate and complete picture about companies’ policies and practices when it comes to LGBT equality, but has fallen woefully short of this standard. “Pride at Work calls upon all labor unions, labor federations, and labor-affiliated organizations to cease funding HRC at all levels until these matters are addressed in a manner that shows HRC stands in solidarity with all working Americans for a fair, just and equal society.”
Using WalMart as an example Pride at Work pointed to some of the many serious flaws in HRC’s so called “Corporate Equality Index”:
Walmart got a 90 percent pro-LGBT rating on the Corporate Equality Index on the recommendation of HRC’s corporate advisory council-a board with no worker or union representatives despite the fact that Walmart’s record of constant labor law-breaking, discrimination against gays in the workplace, support of a discriminatory Arkansas law and denial of health benefits to the partner of a lesbian Walmart worker
“Through this resolution, the members of Pride@Work are demanding that enough is enough,” said Communications Workers official Shane Larson, Pride at Work’s co-president. “Working people are under attack every day, and a war on their rights to come together and fight for a voice on the job is being waged by many of the corporations that HRC asks the LGBT community to celebrate. Too often, HRC has catered to its big-moneyed donors at the expense of those who live on the margins,” it begins. “These misguided priorities have disproportionately impacted the transgender community, people of color, and workers.”
Pride at Work executive director Jerame Davis in an interview with The Advocate stated that they have reached out to the HRC time and time again but to no avail.
Pride at Work has “spent significant time and energy over the past year or so attempting to educate HRC and advocate our position with them,” said Davis. “With little to nothing to show for our efforts, we felt it was our moral obligation to speak out in service of our members and all of the LGBT workers who are, at times, hoodwinked into thinking a corporation has a great track record on LGBT equality when, in fact, all they have is a piece of paper and HRC’s imprimatur. What’s more, the CEI doesn’t account for a corporation’s compliance with their own policies HRC will readily admit they have no ability to verify that the policies they grade in the CEI are actually followed by the company. added Davis . “So, not only do they not grade employers on their willingness to let workers organize a union, they have no actual means of ensuring these companies they give high marks are actually treating their LGBT workers with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
For years many activist including this writer have called out the Human Rights Campaign on their big money donor bias.
It’s good to see the AFL-CIO and Pride At Work stand up to the bloated corporate LGBT equality behemoth.
*The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) is a national trade union center and the largest federation of unions in the United States. It is made up of fifty-six national and international unions, together representing more than 12 million active and retired workers