Equality-seeking groups have historically been subjected to discrimination in employment. Before employment discrimination was against the law, employers routinely refused to promote women into better paying and more secure positions. They fired pregnant women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and refused to hire Aboriginal people, persons of colour and persons with disabilities.
While equality-seeking groups are still discriminated against in many workplaces, we now have the tools to fight back. These tools include the collective agreement and human rights law.
Discrimination affects everyone. Fighting it is important because a discrimination free workplace benefits all workers. A discrimination-free workplace:
- Has less staff turnover
- Is more productive
- Is less likely to have incidents of harassment and violence
The best way to make sure members have maximum protection against discrimination is to bargain both. We need to make sure our collective agreements require compliance with human rights legislation, and that they include not yet listed grounds of discrimination.