UAW's Contract Includes Protections For Gender Identity, Expression for Nearly 400,000 Workers

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

The United Auto Workers in its latest proposed contract with Ford will protect workers from discrimination based on those workers’ gender identities or expressions, a potentially sweeping measure for a normally conservative industry.

According to the contract, the proposed agreement would protect any employee regardless of “race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, union activity, religion, or … any employee with disabilities.”

The UAW’s contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles included for the first time language that covered gender identity for those workers.

“During this round of bargaining the union expressed the importance of the parties both maintaining and strengthening policies that ensure the equal treatment of all employees,” the union wrote.

Michigan and Kansas, where Ford builds many of its vehicles, do not have statewide laws that specifically protect workers from discrimination based on gender identity. In Illinois, where Ford builds the Taurus, workers are protected under statewide laws.

A spokeswoman from Ford did not comment directly on the proposed contract, but said that Ford “diversity inclusion goes into how we operate for a long time now.”

The proposed contract with Ford employees would cover roughly 52,000 workers. Similar deals with General Motors and FCA cover 52,600 and 40,000 workers at the automakers respectively.

The UAW is one of the largest unions in the U.S. and represents 390,000 workers.

Aaron Cole
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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 11, 2015

    Even the fender protectors are getting into the act.

  • TW5 TW5 on Nov 11, 2015

    I've never understood why some people need permission to express themselves and exercise their freedom. Strange quirk that surely leaves people feeling isolated and ostracized.

    • April S April S on Nov 12, 2015

      You would be a bit gun shy if being your true self would get yourself run off from your job (or worse).

  • RideHeight RideHeight on Nov 11, 2015

    Religious, nationalist, wartime-patriotic, environmentalist, integrationist, now gender-liberationist; all public messaging in an advanced society uses the political argot of its times. Just another case of "You gotta say this sh1t."

    • Xeranar Xeranar on Nov 12, 2015

      I'm confused by what you mean in this case. Do you mean you have to say socially progressive things to be elected or to strive in society even when you don't mean it? It's not hard to take a 'live and let live' ethos and while there are times it gets too sensitive pretty much nobody to the right-side of the spectrum in the US has used the overly sensitive moments to find a middle ground but instead used it as a justification to repeal civil liberties. You would actually find a number of allies on the left if you just stopped trying to say that all reach is overreach. I'm careful about what should and shouldn't be policed but we haven't even come close to institutional overreach on social progression issues.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Nov 11, 2015

    I would also add AI and Androids to this list. They are coming and I am against humans in any shape or form discriminating of those who identify their origin or gender as AI programs or Androids.

    • See 1 previous
    • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Nov 12, 2015

      Up next, we speak to the engineers who kill the internet every time it becomes sentient. - The Onion