Stop 'Pinkwashing' Employers

That the General Secretary is to write to Stonewall laying out our views that have been raised at the LGBT conference and invite them to address our LGBT Advisory Committee over these concerns.

The motion regarding Pinkwashing is below:

Stop Pinkwashing Employers

Submitted by Central Line East:

“This conference notes that:

1. Every year, Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, and bisexual charity, publishes its top 100 employer in Britain for LGB people, and employers clamber to appear on the list.

2. In England and Wales, Stonewall does not directly lobby or campaign on transgender issues.

3. Stonewall does not inquire of trade unions and their LGBT sections what they think when compiling the top 100 listing. Instead, employers are invited to submit written responses to the criteria set by Stonewall, accompanied by supporting evidence. Stonewall then assesses
and awards them marks out of a maximum of 200 points.

4. Just because an employer is ranked on the Stonewall list does not mean all is well. The Home Office was ranked number 2 on the Stonewall 2012 list. In January 2013, the Home Secretary faced a storm by LGBT rights activists over police visits to the homes of gay men with historic convictions of gross indecency (under laws introduced in 1895 and only repealed in 2003) being told they must put their DNA on the sex offender's database.

5. Nine police forces from across the UK appear on the 2012 Stonewall top 100 employers listing.

6. The Scottish Government was also ranked 90 by Stonewall. At the same time, Brian Souter, the outspoken homophobic co-founder of the Stagecoach Group, is one of the SNP Government’s biggest donors. In 2000, Souter spent over a million pounds on the ‘Keep the Clause’ campaign, funding billboard advertising around Scotland with homophobic messages opposing the scrapping of the controversial anti-gay Section 28 law.

7. ' Pinkwashing' is the cynical use of LGBT rights by businesses, institutions, and governments, to present a public facade of progressiveness and equality, to cover up the opposite reality on the ground.

8. Many large companies have set up LGBT networks to purposely circumvent trade unions and their LGBT sections. The principle aim of many of these networks is to get the employer on the Stonewall ‘top 100 list’.

This conference believes:

1. The Stonewall top 100 employer list allows big businesses, institutions, and
governments, to exaggerate their support for LGBT workers, and cover up infringements of LGBT rights in the workplace.

2. It is time that Stonewall reviewed the value of their annual top 100 employer listing

3. Stonewall should consult workers and trade unions rather than bosses to ensure working procedures are in place to prevent homophobia and discrimination.

4. Stonewall should stop perpetuating the exclusion of transgender people and campaign on trans issues in England and Wales, not just LGB issues.
This conference calls on the RMT to communicate with Stonewall on the issues raised in this resolution.”

What is a National Executive Committee decision?

This article is an 'executive decision' which has been written by the RMT National Executive Committee. The National Executive is the union's governing body in between AGMs. Its decisions set out what the union will do on a particular issue.

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