NYC Council initiative will facilitate access to union jobs for members of the LGBTQ+ community

The New York City Council launched this Friday the iniciativa ‘Pride at Work’which will be a powerful lever for more people from the gay, lesbian and trans (LGBTQIA+) community to access unionized quality jobs.

This is the first association of its kind that is financed with public funds in all the country.

Under the leadership of the Councilor Crystal Hudsona member of the LGBTQIA+ Caucus of the Municipal Chamber, it was agreed to include $501,000 in the City’s budget for fiscal year 2023 to lay the foundations of this project.

“This is a pathway to quality, well-paying jobs that strengthen communities and protect our collective from poor working conditions, especially for trans people and people of color. LGBTQIA+ workers have faced fierce discrimination in the workplace. And not to mention when they are looking for a job option, ”said Hudson.

In this sense, Pride at Work will provide funds to nonprofit organizations and City agencies to recruit nonprofits and prepare them for union jobs, such as construction, services and educational certifications.

According to reports from Center for American Progress, “for decades, compared to the general population, LGBTQI+ people have faced at increased risk of experiencing financial insecuritiessuch as higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and use of public benefits.”

Even before the pandemic, various statistical evidences reveal that LGBTQ households made up of people of colorwere more likely than other families to experience food insecurity, job loss, significant financial challenges, and barriers to accessing health.

strength and talent

The testimony of a young Dominican transgenderwho identified herself as Graciela Román, gives broader indications of this reality.

If you are Latina and also dark (brunette) like me. And to that you add that you identify and express yourself as a transgender woman, the chances of having a quality job are very low Anywhere in the world. It seems to me that New York is being an example to the world of justice and inclusion,” said the immigrant.

Graciela shares that “sadly” people with their gender identity and expression “typecast” them in very specific jobs, when they have strength and talent to face any task.

“It is also more dramatic to think that most of us are condemned to work only in beauty salons, and in the worst case be forced into prostitution. It is very sad. There is a long way to go before we are respected. But this is a step, ”she finished.

Unemployment at a high rate

Indeed, based on new data from the National Household Pulse Survey (HPS)which examines the economic security and labor market experiences of LGBTQIA+ communities, transgender respondents experienced employment rates lower than other groups within that community, which describes an immense challenge for them to achieve apply and get quality work.

So far this year, the ‘trans’ community reports in some surveys having had to be forced to apply much more proportionally to unemployment insurancewhen compared to other groups.

This step of financing labor inclusion projects is an effort of the Municipal Council that was also supported by the AFL-CIO LGBTQ+ affinity group, the Iron Workers Union and the National Education Association. It is also supported by labor unions, the SEIU 1199 Employment and Training Fund, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, and the Legal Aid Lawyers Association.

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