Union Women and the #MeToo/#TIMESUP Movement

The final months of 2017 have brought mass national attention to an issue which has plagued working women for decades, that of workplace sexual harassment and assault that has come to be known as the #MeToo movement. Last night (January 7) the #TimesUP initiative gained notoriety at the Golden Globes Award telecast. Activists such as Sara Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United President and a speaker at CLUW’s recent Convention and Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance were invited guests, broadening the conversation to the large number of industries where women are subjected to this type of workplace violence.  The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund (administered by the National Women’s Law Center) will provide financial support for legal representation and public relations services for some individuals experiencing workplace sexual harassment or related retaliation.

Sexual harassment is an expression of power and CLUW is committed to putting our collective power to fight for real and measurable progress.

CLUW’s Adopted Convention Resolution No. 17 states, “the workplace can be a critical place for responding to gender based violence and building systems that protect survivors of abuse.” Unfortunately most workplaces are not living up to the standard we demand. However, thanks largely to the brave women across industries who have been coming forward to boldly share their stories and seek justice, we could be in the middle of a welcome culture shift. With TIME magazine awarding “The Silence Breakers” its Person of The Year Award, profiling several determined union women in the process, the time is clearly ripe.

In an article by the Washington Post, Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants who spoke at the 19th Biennial CLUW Convention, was asked along with fifteen other leading women in different industries to share what she thought was the most important next step towards ending the harassment in her field.  She pointed out, “The most effective thing that could be done now is a series of public service announcements from airline chief executives. It would be powerful to hear these men clearly and forcefully denounce the past objectification of flight attendants, reinforce our safety role as aviation’s first responders and pledge zero tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the airlines.”  Read more here.

Cross post from CLUW