Histadrut hosts historic first LGBTIQ+ worker conference

Apr 23, 2023

The Histadrut held (Sunday) its first LGBTIQ+ worker conference with the participation of senior officials, workers’ committee members, and members of the community. The conference was organized by the Social Justice and Gender Equality Division of the Histadrut, led by Yair (Yaya) Fink, and was chaired by Arnon Bar-David, the Histadrut chairman. Bar-David expressed his pride in the Histadrut’s ability to address the needs of every audience, including the LGBTIQ+ community, and stated that the Histadrut has been supporting the community’s struggle for equality for years. During the conference, several lectures were given by experts who discussed various topics related to the LGBTIQ+ community in the workplace, including its complexities and needs, the importance of diversity, and legal precedents concerning the community’s rights.

Arnon Bar-David: “We have made history here. The Histadrut, as the home of the working men and women in Israel, knows how to reinvent itself and give every audience the answer and the special treatment it needs. The idea to establish a dedicated division arose from the fact that there were inquiries from the surface, from workers and who did not always find solutions for their issues. The LGBTQI issues are not present enough in trade unions, which is why I am very happy that the Histadrut is now leading on this issue. It’s not just that the division will now promote help for LGBTIQ+ employees – the Histadrut, under my leadership, has been supporting the gay community’s struggle for equality for years, working on the issue on many levels and in a visible sense – every year we raise the pride flag on our building during Pride Month. We will make an effort to let every employee feel equal, and LGBTIQ+ people have a place of honor in this building. The Histadrut sees itself as a partner and as a body that works to protect the rights of LGBTIQ+ workers.”

Chairman of the Division for Social Justice and Gender Equality, Yaya Fink: “‘Beloved is man, for he was created in the image [of G‑d],’ it is written in the Mishnah – and this, in my view, is our foundation as a society. Mutual concern and help for every person, regardless of who they are, is also the root of what the Histadrut does. In the spirit of these things, the division that I am happy to head also operates. The conference, for the sake of the LGBTIQ+I workers, is just the beginning of a journey. As part of the work for LGBTIQ+ workers, a call center will be opened that will be able to provide answers to questions that will arise on these issues from the field, we will train representatives from the legal bureau of the Histadrut who will know how to individually handle cases related to LGBTIQ+ issues, and we will create a special standard for labor unions whose workplaces encourage equality and inclusion. It is indeed a historical status, but for the “pride wing” of the Histadrut is something that is important and elementary.

Chairwoman of Na’amat Hagit Pe’er: “This is a day of celebration. For workers in general, and the LGBTIQ+ employees in particular, who know today that they have another address and an inclusive home. This is another step and part of saying that this home is open to everyone. We at Na’amat will continue to work to promote equality so that every employee will be better and safer in the workplace.”

Chairwoman of the Assuta Workers’ Council and a founder of the pride wing of the Histadrut Maggie Mor: “I am happy and excited to see how a dream becomes a reality. The Histadrut is also breaking ground on the issue of the LGBTIQ+ community and proves that it is the home of all workers in Israel. The LGBTIQ+ community, like the Histadrut, shares values of justice, equality, and solidarity. On this basis, we established the wing in the Histadrut.”

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