Let’s End Bullying on Pink Shirt Day 2024

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February 28 is Pink Shirt Day. Today we work to end all forms of bullying which includes misogyny, racism, homophobia and transphobia. Originally, Pink Shirt Day started as a result of homophobic bullying at school and has since expanded to fight bullying for any inherent human trait that may make someone different. Imagine being bullied for the colour and style of your clothes as a child. Or imagine being a member and any minor changes to make you feel safe are met with complaints and vandalism. So what does that mean for us? We’re about 4000 strong with a mix of different people coming from different backgrounds, making us collectively a diverse force for change. Not just for the membership but also for the community we work in. Wearing your pink shirt today will show that you support the end of bullying. History: In 2007, in Berwick Nova Scotia, after a new student at their school was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt, two grade 12 students bought 50 pink shirts and encouraged their classmates to wear pink. The next day they went to distribute the shirts and to their surprise, the majority of students arrived wearing pink!  With that act of kindness, Pink Shirt Day was born. In recognition of the Berwick event, Nova Scotia proclaimed the second Thursday of September “Stand Up Against Bullying Day.” In 2008, British Columbia proclaimed February 27th to be the provincial anti-bullying day, and the movement has continued to grow. In 2012,…

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Let’s Talk About SOGI and TDOR

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The inclusion of SOGI education in Canadian schools has been a hot topic lately, and November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Let's talk about these things, and how they relate. What Is SOGI? First of all, what does SOGI even mean? It stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Maybe you've seen or heard it referred to as "SOGI 123." The "123" has no meaning other than to imply that it's "as easy as 123." So why are we talking about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity? And why are we trying to make it seem easy?  Because everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity. Every. Person. On this planet. And it is easy. There are groups out there who are trying to make a mountain of this mole hill. They're trying to make it sound complicated and scary and difficult to understand. But if you understand that you are, for example, a straight man, then there's your sexual orientation (straight) and your gender identity (man) and that's all there is to it. It's that simple. Examples of Sexual Orientations: Straight (attracted to the opposite sex) Gay (attracted to the same sex; male) Lesbian (attracted to the same sex; female) Bisexual (attracted to more than one sex) Pansexual (attracted to all sexes) Asexual (not sexually attracted to anyone) Examples of Gender Identities: Cisgender Man (assigned male at birth; still identifies as male) Cisgender Woman (assigned female at birth; still identifies as female) Transgender Man (assigned female at…

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2023 Vancouver Pride Parade

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March with Unifor in the Vancouver Pride Parade on Sunday, August 6, 2023! Unifor’s staging location is G, on Davie Street between Denman and Bidwell. Access the staging area via westbound Davie at Thurlow. (Roads west of Thurlow and south of Robson will be closed.) The parade route is new this year, and almost 4km long. Participants must be able to march the entire route, as there are no midway exit points. We will not have a trailer this year, so please ensure you bring your own mobility aid, if required. Remember to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and comfy shoes! Water will be available, but you can bring some too. We have new Pride t-shirts this year, and all attendees will receive one! Please RSVP at www.pride111.ca/signup by Friday, August 4 in order to receive the correct shirt size.

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Victoria Pride Parade

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Join the Unifor BCRC Pride Committee at the Victoria Pride Parade TODAY! Staging is from 9:30 - 10:00am on Chatham Street, just off Douglas Street. Look for the 12ft rainbow Unifor trailer! Parade starts at 11:00am. See you there!

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Pride Season 2023

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It's June 1st, the start of International Pride Month, and the Unifor BCRC Pride Committee is planning to attend several different Pride events across BC this season! We hope you can join us at some of these events. Keep an eye on our website for the details of each event as they become available.

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Menstrual Hygiene Day

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From MenstrualHygieneDay.org: Poor menstrual hygiene caused by a lack of education, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermines the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls* around the world. As a result, millions of women and girls are prevented from reaching their full potential. Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual health and hygiene (MHH). More specifically, MH Day: breaks the silence, raises awareness and changes negative social norms around MHH, and engages decision-makers to increase the political priority and catalyse action for MHH, at global, national and local levels. MH Day has grown tremendously since it was first celebrated in 2014. Menstrual Hygiene Day was initiated by the German non-profit WASH United in 2013. WASH United is the overall global coordinator of MH Day and acts as its international secretariat. WASH United’s role includes: coordination of the MH Day partner network comprising of >910 social impact organisations, overall strategy and direction for MH Day, creation and dissemination of content for the annual MH Day campaign and ongoing campaigning, external communication (MH Day website, social media and newsletters) and representation of MH Day (at conferences and other sector events), strategic partnerships (including with the media) and fundraising, and monitoring and reporting. By 2030, it is possible to create a world where no one is held back because they menstruate. This means…

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International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

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From Unifor.org: Unifor marks the 2023 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) with solidarity for people of all sexual and gender diversities. Every year on May 17, the IDAHOBIT is celebrated globally. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the persistent discrimination, violence, and marginalization faced by individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics, including two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (2SLGBTQI) peoples. This year’s theme, solidarity: everyone belongs in our union, is an important one that reaffirms Unifor’s commitment to continuing the fight against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and intersexphobia through social and political action. Our union celebrates the diversity of and continues to advocate for the rights of all 2SLGBTQI peoples. However, this celebration and advocacy work is set against a backdrop of a disturbing trend of increasing violent and hateful acts targeting trans and queer peoples. With hate on the rise, it has never been clearer that 2SLGBTQI issues are union issues. Over the past year, we have all witnessed an increasing number of incidents of violence, oppression and hate crimes against trans and queer people across Canada and the United States. The number of anti-trans laws introduced and adopted in the U.S. alone is staggering. Beginning with “don’t say gay” in elementary schools, the floodgates were also opened with repeated attacks on the trans community. Nearly 670 laws have been proposed or adopted since 2018 ranging from family separations, sports bans, bathroom bans, outlawing gender affirming care,…

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International Day of Pink

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Today is International Day of Pink, an anti-bullying and anti-homophobia initiative held during the second week of April each year. Day of Pink has the same origins as Canada's federally recognized Pink Shirt Day in February, except its focus remains on issues specific to the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. Today, and every day, make sure you stand up for your coworkers, friends, and family and denounce hateful speech, actions, and attitudes.

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Join Us at the Vancouver Pride Parade!

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For the first time since 2019, the Vancouver Pride Parade is BACK for its 44th year! The parade is on Sunday, July 31 from 12:00 to 15:00, and Unifor's BC Regional Council has an entry! If you are able, please come out and march with the Unifor BC Regional Council, the Local 111 Pride Committee, and our rainbow float! You are welcome to bring your kids along, too! Unifor's staging location is ES-6, on Alberni Street between Thurlow and Burrard. Please arrive at noon. It will probably be a hot and sunny day for the 3km march, so please wear light clothing, comfy shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. You should also consider bringing water with you, but we will have some on hand. We look forward to seeing you there! We also need volunteers to help us put the float together on Saturday, July 30. If you are available to help, you can sign up here!

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Unifor Pride Bus Ads!

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Check it out! The Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee has worked hard over the last several months with Lamar BC to make this special project come to life. Thank you to all our members who approved the funding for this project. As you all know, June is internationally recognized as Pride Month. The Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee wanted to recognize this in a big way this year, after two years of cancelled Pride parades and reduced action and activities due to Covid. We know there is a substantial LGBTQ+ community among our membership, and we want all drivers to be able to feel PROUD of who they are, and what they do! These ads let the world know that Unifor fights for us and our rights. There's a total of 12 buses with Pride ads on them: 6 trolleys at VTC and 6 CNGs at HTC. There are 4 different ad designs: 2 at VTC and 2 at HTC. We encourage you to search for and take photos with the ads and share them with the Pride Committee! We are disappointed that, due to time and budget constraints, not every depot was able to be included in this campaign. In the near future, we hope to do a second campaign which will include buses in all depots! We hope you enjoy this ad campaign, which runs for the month of June 2022. UPDATE: When our bus ad campaign went live on June 1, the public quickly noticed the disclaimers…

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Bathroom Survey

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The Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee's bathroom survey is now live! As you may be aware, TransLink is already working on plans to change the way bathrooms are designed across the system. They didn't exactly consult their employees on this, so the Pride Committee intends to collect data to present to TransLink to influence their decisions on the process. We encourage you to share your feedback on the sometimes troubling experience of using the bathroom at work. The survey is anonymous, and your personally identifying information will not be shared with TransLink or anyone else outside the Pride Committee.

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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia

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Every year on May 17, we celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. This is often shorted to IDAHOT or IDAHOBIT. The day was created to mark the World Health Organization's (WHO) important step to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder on May 17, 1990. More than 30 years later, it is still an important occasion on which we call on local authorities, politicians, decision-markers, and the general public to recognize, support, and advance the rights of queer people around the world. This year, as we have done for many years now, the Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee attended Qmunity's annual IDAHOT Breakfast fundraiser to mark the annual event.

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And the winner is…

The Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee would like to thank all members who came out to our second Big Gay BBQ event: 2GAY2BBQ on May 14, 2022, and everyone who purchased a raffle ticket! We drew the winner of our iPad Raffle fundraiser: Michael Pawsey at VTC! Thanks to our members, we raised $1,104.28 for Trans Lifeline and $1,104.28 for Rainbow Refugee. We had more than 100 attendees at the BBQ. Thank you for helping fight back against homophobia and transphobia at our IDAHOT BBQ! If you missed the event, stay tuned for Big Gay BBQ 3: Veggie Burger Drift…

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iPad Raffle Fundraiser

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Today is the last day to purchase raffle tickets for the Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee's fundraiser! The prize is a 256GB iPad Air (2022 model) valued at almost $1,000. Tickets are $10 each and the winner will be drawn at the Pride Committee's BBQ at Queen's Park tomorrow, Saturday, May 14! The funds raised from ticket sales will be donated to Trans Lifeline and Rainbow Refugee!

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Political Philosophy

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Unions and Pride have gone hand-in-hand since the UK's National Union of Mineworkers' strike in 1984, when Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) was formed by Mark Ashton. In response to the group's support, the National Union of Mineworkers was the first Union to enshrine LGBTQ+ rights into their Constitution in 1985. By necessity, both Pride and Unionism are political. Unions are involved in politics for three main reasons: 1. Gain recognition of the right of workers to form unions and bargain collectively; 2. Protect the gains they have won through collective bargaining;3. Promote justice and equal economic opportunity for all.Canadian Labour Congress These reasons can be applied in some way or another to why Pride is also political: recognition of the rights of queer people, protection of the gains queer people have won, and promotion of justice and equity for all. So what exactly is political philosophy? "Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of laws by authority: what they are, if they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect, what form it should take, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever."Wikipedia Corporations that wish to remain politically unaffiliated use…

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Pride Committee Website

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Welcome to the Unifor Local 111 Pride Committee's brand new website! Here, you can stay up-to-date on the Committee's meetings, events, and projects we are working on. Stay tuned for a special TOP SECRET project launching on June 1, 2022!

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Big Gay BBQ™ 2

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Folks, it is time once again… for the Big Gay BBQ! 2.0 Spring Edition! This time we are supporting International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (which occurs every year on May 17) by raising money for two charities: Trans Lifeline and Rainbow Refugee! The food is still free, but donations are welcomed! So make sure you plan your schedules accordingly, book those BOT days, make those shift trades, and COME OUT on May 14 to Queen’s Park in New Westminster for a gay ol’ time! There will be loads of hot sausages and hot buns! And options for the meatless among us! But the food will go FAST! This is a family friendly event and ALL members are welcome! Bring your dog! Bring your kid! We will also draw the winner of the iPad raffle at the BBQ!

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