Academic journal article Hecate

The Low Pink Ceiling

Academic journal article Hecate

The Low Pink Ceiling

Article excerpt

Introduction

Campaigns on issues such as protection from homophobia, in the workplace, and in the trade union movement challenge sexual politicswhich is what lesbian and gay unionists have been doing since the early 1970s. Shane Ostenfeld has argued that the trade union movement has proved responsive to the needs of gay and lesbian workers, particularly through the efforts of white-collar and left-wing unions, although strong opposition is mounted by right-wing unions.' But a recent study of the workplace experiences of lesbians, gay men and transgender people shows that alarming rates of discrimination and prejudice remain.

The study, 'The Pink Ceiling is Too LoW was a joint project of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research.2 It found that over half of the respondents said they suffered from homophobic behaviour or harassment, including eleven per cent who had experienced verbal abuse, including threats of physical and sexual abuse. The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby welcomed the support of ACTU President, Jennie George, who launched the report and they declared their intention of working with unions. …

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