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