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Sexual harassment is not ‘just a bit of banter’ - Usdaw supports a call for urgent action

Date: 11 September 2016 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has today congratulated the TUC for their recently published, ground breaking research 'Still just a bit of banter?'; which sheds light on the nature and extent of sexual harassment in the workplace, an issue that for far too long has been kept in the dark.
Alarmingly the report shows that:
  • Young women are particularly vulnerable, with two-thirds experiencing sexual harassment at work,
  • four out of five women experiencing harassment didn’t report it their employer
  • and just 1% confided in a union rep.
Speaking in Brighton at the annual Trade Unions Congress, John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary said: “The TUC has put the issue back where it belongs, on the agenda of employers, policy makers and politicians. The scale of sexual harassment at work is truly shocking; so we have been working with employers to negotiate robust harassment policies that deliver practical results for women at work.
“Usdaw empowers our reps to send out the unequivocal message that harassment has no place whatsoever in the 21st century workplace; but despite this, sexual harassment persists and continues to damage the working lives of most women workers. So we fully support the call for urgent action to promote respect and dignity, ridding every workplace of violence, abuse and harassment.
John Hannett was speaking in support of an emergency motion, that was unanimously supported by Congress delegates, which calls for the TUC to:
  • Reach out to young workers and demonstrate the relevance of union support,
  • partner with employer organisations to change behaviour at work,
  • and support unions to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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