Labor: A Decades Long Partnership

Ray Holman: UAW Local 6000 Legislative Liaison

IMMIGRATION: Out Of The Shadows

Choice: Closely Aligned

Environment: Only Way To Win Is By Working Together

HOUSING: 'We Are All In This Together'

Labor: A Decades Long Partnership

1 Can you briefly explain the very close relationship between labor and LGBT movements over the decades?

The union movement has a history of supporting groups that have been discriminated against. Additionally, we have fought to provide healthcare coverage for domestic partners, and we won this for our members in our collective bargaining agreement. Representing state workers, we argued that we need to attract the most qualified and talented employees we can find to provide excellent service to Michigan citizens. Note Gov. Snyder attempted to take this legally negotiated benefit away, but he failed fortunately.

2 Why have the two movements been so closely tied together, and what has that meant for both movements?

Some rich and powerful groups/institutions have politically tried to exploit hate and misunderstandings. People that have no business supporting policies that weaken their economic positions in life have been seduced and encouraged and given into ignorant fears and prejudice.

3 What does being an ally working so prominently for the labor movement mean to you personally and why?

The LGBT community understands what it's like to be persecuted, attacked and alienated much like - unfortunately - the labor movement. Also, the LGBT community brings a lot of resources to the table - talent, creativity and expertise - to the civil rights battle that will be ongoing. We are actually dependent on the alliance now and we are growing even stronger together.

4 What are your big take-aways for the LGBT community about the importance of the labor movement in America?

For me personally, the alliance has opened up new friendships with talented people that have already enriched my life.

5 Please tell our readers about your organization and what you do for it.

I am UAW Local 6000 legislative liaison. We represent 17,000 state employees in all the departments. We have almost every type of profession in our collective bargaining unit that you can think off.

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