President Bob King on the United Auto Workers issued a statement in May that supports President Obama’s announcement on marriage equality:
“The UAW applauds President Obama’s remarks on same-sex marriage, and we regard it as a historic and courageous leap toward equality for all Americans. We oppose all discrimination and believe there is a definite connection between civil, human and workers’ rights. This belief continues to define us today. The ongoing struggle for civil and human rights for everyone – including LGBT Americans – cannot be separated from the fight for justice for all workers. That’s something the UAW has known from the start.”
Support for same-sex marriage is another step in the UAW’s strong history of support of LGBT rights in the workplace. The UAW fought hard for domestic partnership benefits for same-sex partners during contract negotiations in 2002, which resulted in all three of the “Big 3” simultaneously implementing benefits for all unionized auto workers.
“Solidarity means economic and social justice for all, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation,” said King. “The UAW helped organize African-American workers during the 1930s when companies used race as a divisive anti-union strategy. In 1955, we were the first industrial union to establish a Women’s Department, its mission to encourage female participation in the predominantly male UAW – and to ensure that a woman’s place was in her union. We were arm in arm with the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s.”
For more information go to http://www.uaw.org.