TUC LGBT+ Conference comes out in support of international transport workers

5 July 2019

London's Congress House, the headquarters of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) saw trade union members gather for the organisation's annual LGBT+ conference on 4 and 5 July.

With trade unions from across the UK present, motions debated were on topics including sexual harassment, hate crime, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, used to prevent contraction of HIV) and so-called 'gay cure therapy.'

A motion in support of Lyra McKee, the journalist and LGBT+ activist – and member of the National Union of Journalists – brutally murdered in Northern Ireland in 2019 was passed unanimously, and delegates held a moment of silence in respect for her.

For the first time, Nautilus was also present at the conference, presenting a motion calling for support of LGBT+ maritime, transport and other cross-border workers which the organisation flagged in June 2019.

In his speech to introduce the Union’s motion, international organiser Danny McGowan, said: 'Every day, LGBT+ people go to work under the threat of violence, bullying and harassment because of their sexuality or gender. International workers – those who work in a globalised industry or work across borders such as Nautilus members and cabin crew – face further issues.

'With around 70 countries criminalising same-sex consensual activity, and 11 of these with the death penalty imposed or a possibility, international transport workers can face severe challenges to their human rights in their ports of call, and we call on the TUC to intensify efforts in support of LGBT+ workers facing these issues.'

A Unite delegate, a cabin crew worker speaking in support of the Nautilus motion, reiterated the fact that there is no single place where LGBT+ cross border workers can seek information on the local laws of the jurisdictions they visit. The motion was seconded by the University and Colleges Union, and further supported by ASLEF and GMB.

The motion was unanimously supported by all attendees.