ASLEF at TUC LGBT+ Conference 2019

08 July 2019

Last week ASLEF sent a delegation of six members to TUC LGBT+ conference: Darran Brown (District 3), Rachel Harper (District 7), David Jones (District 7), Hugh Cumming (District 2), Susan Greenwell (District 4) and Matt Whyte (District 8).

Delegates heard from a range of speakers, attended fringe meetings and moved and spoke in support of motions tabled by ASLEF and our colleagues from other unions.


Darran Brown and Rachel Harper were also re-elected to the TUC LGBT+ committee.


Conference was opened by Maria Exall, Chair of the TUC LGBT+ Committee, and one of the first acts was a minute's silence for murdered journalist Lyra McKee who was killed this April in Derry. An emergency motion followed, along with several speakers paying tribute to Lyra and her activism as well as pledging to continue her legacy.

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, also addressed the conference, praising the work of the TUC LGBT+ committee and LGBT+ activists across the trade union movement.


Other speakers addressing the conference included Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Eduction, who spoke about the urgent need for inclusive sex and relationship education across our schools, and barrister Dr S Chelvan who talked about the issues facing the LGBT+ asylum seekers he represents.


ASLEF's motion to the conference was about LGBT+ rights around the world which called on the TUC to pinpoint countries where LGBT+ rights are lacking and identify relevant organisation within these countries to which UK unions can show solidarity and support. Matt Whyte moved the motion, which was adopted with an amendment moved by Unison.

David Jones seconded the FBU motion which called for a question relating to sexual orientation and gender identity to be included in the 2021 UK Census, and GMB's motion clling for LGBT+ inclusion not just in sex and relationship education but across the curriculum.

Darran Brown seconded Usfaw's motion on tackling LGBT+ hate crime, and Rachel Harper moved Emergency Motion 4 on the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education statement on gender identity.

On Friday lunchtime some of the delegation attended a fringe event hosted by LGBT+ Labour and chaired by ASLEF member from District 1, Lucio Buffone, with speakers Heather Peto, Angela Eagle MP and Rohit Dasgupta, on defending LGBT+ rights in an era of populism.

On Saturday, following the conference, our delegation were joined by over 30 ASLEF members and friends to march at London Pride. This year was the largest ever Pride event in London and saw tens of thousands of people marching and standing up for equality across the city.




Full Text of ASLEF's Motion: LGBT+ rights around the world

Conference acknowledges the trade union and Labour movement in the United Kingdom has always shown itself to be international in its defence of workers, championing those around the world who are not afforded the protections and rights seen in this country. However, across the globe we continue to witness the shocking treatment of LGBT+ people, including incidences of LGBT+ people fearing for their lives.

Some of the worst examples of human rights abuse towards LGBT+ communities are among the UK’s trading partners, and members of our own Commonwealth of Nations. Conference believes it is vitally important to identify where solidarity is needed and to whom this should be directed.

Conference therefore instructs the TUC LGBT+ Committee to:

i) compile a report that pinpoints where in the world LGBT+ rights fall short of acceptable, and to identify organisations within these countries that TUC affiliates can offer support to

ii) further that all TUC affiliates be encouraged to affiliate to Amnesty International as an initial step to assisting our LGBT+ colleagues across the world who are marginalised and persecuted purely on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Amendment (UNISON)

In the second paragraph, after "Commonwealth of Nations," insert "resulting from a legacy of British colonisation".

Delete the last sentence in paragraph 2.

Insert new paragraph 3:

"Conference welcomes the work of ILGA, a worldwide network of international, national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for LGBT+ people everywhere. Supporting groups in countries across the world."

Add new action point i) to encourage all TUC affiliates to affiliate to ILGA

Add new action point ii) work with other trade unions and international labour organisations to fight LGBT+ inequality.

Renumber the other action point.

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