Against Discrimination at Workplaces
“Working Class Hero – Equality as role model” (11.9. at Helsinki Pride) is a class-conscious European queer debate of solidarity, equality and working life. Speakers from European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), European Left (EL LGBTI WG) and Red Rainbow (SKP) make queer reality and the fight for better working life heard, show the challenges and rights of the LGBTI community's workers face in everyday life in different European countries and provide new ideas and political tools for queer battle for better working life conditions.
Rainbow worker´s rights
Jiri Mäntysalo is at the moment working as chairperson of the Communist Youth of Finland. Mäntysalo is also active in Trade Union, mostly in Trade Union Pro that is one of the biggest unions in Finland presenting private and public sector.
Jiri Mäntysalo finds that the topic of the Helsinki Pride debate, LGBTI workers' rights, is relevant, as according to Mäntysalo, we all know, and we have a lot to do in our struggle to free proletariat, minorities and all oppressed.
- The Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK made research in 2018 which points that 43 procent see that in their workplaces they don't have zero tolerance to the sexual harassment. I would hope that unions took more active role in avoiding discrimination in all forms in workplaces and society, says Mäntysalo
According to Mäntysalo Trade Unionist should recognize the inequality problems in society.
- It's not enough that only those who face these problems in their everyday life and activists and other well-informed people intervene to the problems, says Mäntysalo.
Mäntysalo says that there is structural injustice that makes it possible that still today we see discrimination, old-fashioned habits and unjustified behaviour against sex and gender minorities must be seen by all.
- Many workers stay quiet about discrimination and problems they face. If unions would have better representation in workplaces and the unions would educate the representatives actively to intervene all kind of discrimination, it would create more safety in workplaces, underlines Mäntysalo.
Education as tool against injustice
We can blame conservatism that wants to restrict human and worker's rights. As progressive Trade Unionist and communist Mäntysalo sees that growing discrimination is after all the result of capitalism. According to Mäntysalo the system will easily drive people who are not so class-conscious to the point that instead of seeing society's structural problems and class distinctions, they start to blame other workers for that, for example people who don't have a job or can't afford reasonable living.
- Conservatism is just a rotten revelation in capitalism. That's really why we need education in all sectors of society and we need radical workers who educate in workplaces, Trade Unions and communities, clarifies Mäntysalo.