Washington (PAI) – The Coalition of Labor Union Women is committing itself to broadening the fight against sexual harassment and exploitation on the job, a new statement on its website says.
That includes working with the National Women’s Law Center, the Restaurant Opportunities Center and other individual unions to spotlight the frequent sexual exploitation of woman workers in industries other than movies and politics, and use of power by supervisors at all levels.
“Sexual harassment is an expression of power and CLUW is committed to putting our collective power to fight for real and measurable progress,” the organization, an AFL-CIO affinity group, added.
CLUW’s decision came as two prominent woman labor leaders, Ai-Jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Saru Jayaraman, were at the Jan. 7 Golden Globes Awards – where empowering women to fight such exploitation was a major theme.
In solidarity with exploited women, and the #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements, all but three of the women at the Golden Globes wore black.
PLAGUED WORKING WOMEN FOR DECADES
“The final months of 2017 brought mass national attention to an issue which has plagued working women for decades, that of workplace sexual harassment and assault,” CLUW said. Jayaraman and Jen-Poo shone the spotlight on two low-paying, heavily female professions that feature rampant sexual exploitation: Domestic service and restaurant work.
That “broadens the conversation to the large number of industries where women are subjected to this type of workplace violence,” CLUW said. Then it suggested exploited women can use the National Women’s Law Center as one way to fight back.
“The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund,” which the center runs, “will provide financial support for legal representation and public relations services for some individuals experiencing workplace sexual harassment or related retaliation,” CLUW explained.