How do unions around the world respond to issues raised by sexual minorities? Much as been written on labor's response to issues raised by women and racial minorities, but there has been little work done on labor's engagement with gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. The original essays in this collection attempt to fill that void by bringing together a group of experts who examine labor's response to such issues as benefits for same-sex partners, anti-discrimination language in collective agreements, and education. Speaking from a variety of racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and political views, the contributors bring their unique personal perspectives and scholarly approaches to this groundbreaking book.
The chapters included in Laboring for Rights give a global vision to the increasingly important subject of equity in the workplace. They offer a much-needed look at labor's involvement with current international workplace conditions from such diverse countries as the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and South Africa, as well as parts of the South Pacific. Some of these countries have strong and progressive labor unions; some, like the U.S., have relatively weak labor organizations. But whatever the context, as these articles demonstrate, there seems to be a growing and in some instances prospering gay/lesbian labor alliance in many parts of the world.
Laboring for Rights is a pioneering text in an important new area of labor study. It will engage readers interested in equality in the workplace, labor and organizational studies, gay and lesbian activism, and international, comparative studies.
Gerald Hunt is Associate Professor of Industrial Relations and Organizational Behavior in the School of Business and Economics at Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada.