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Sexual assault and harassment have absolutely no place in the trade union movement – TUC

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak commented on reports of an internal Aslef survey of members which found serious instances of sexual assault, harassment and bullying 

"Sexual assault, harassment and bullying have absolutely no place in the trade union movement.

“The findings of this survey are extremely serious. We stand with the victims and survivors.

“It’s right that Aslef commissioned an internal survey to understand the nature and extent of sexual harassment and bullying in the union.

“And it’s right that Aslef are taking action by putting in place new measures to protect women in their union and keep staff and members safe.

“We know sexual harassment is endemic across society – and our union movement is no exception.

“Tackling and preventing sexual harassment in our movement and in every workplace is a priority for the TUC and our member trade unions.”

On action the TUC is taking, Paul added:

“The TUC is continuing to roll out its dedicated programme of training union officers and senior leaders to tackling sexual harassment and the cultures that enable it.

“And we have produced a toolkit developed with experts, tailored for trade union workplaces, which sets out useful resources for employers and union reps – including guidance on producing risk assessments to prevent sexual harassment.

“Our work will not stop there – we know there is lots more to do to tackle sexual harassment in our movement and in every workplace.

“The union movement must be a place where women feel safe and supported.”

Editors note

TUC sexual harassment working group: The TUC General Council established a sexual harassment working group in March 2021. It has worked together to provide advice, resources, training, and support for preventing sexual harassment in all workplaces starting with unions as employers. Through the working group, the TUC has trained nearly 50 senior leaders in the union movement in preventing sexual harassment and has piloted the training with a number of affiliates and within its own staff, the TUC is now rolling this program out across the movement.  

The full report on the work of the TUC’s sexual harassment working group is available here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sexualharassmentworkinggroup

In 2018, the TUC rules were updated to reflect this renewed focus on ending sexual harassment within our movement. The TUC rules are explicit and robust in stating our shared commitment to the elimination of all forms of sexual harassment and violence against women within our movement. Rule 1b states:   

“It shall be a requirement of affiliation that an organisation has a clear commitment to promote equality for all and to eliminate all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination, both within its own structures and through all its activities, including its own employment practices.”  

About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/sexual-assault-and-harassment-have-absolutely-no-place-trade-union-movement-tuc

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