The workplace remains the site where sexual harassment has its greatest impact on women, where it can cause dam age to women’s lives. When there is sexual harassment at work, women find it difficult to win other gains.
In part, this is because sexual harassment leads to high job turnover, and workplaces with a frequently changing labor force have difficulty developing the continuity needed to organize.
Building unity in a workplace plagued with sexual harassment is difficult. But only through unity will workers be capable of winning at the bargaining table. This is as true for the fight against harassment as it is for any other work workers’ struggle.
Fighting sexual harassment and workplace discrimination may seem like a tall order. But as more women come forward, and more men recognize their responsibilities, it will become easier to develop a common understanding of the problem and to stop harassing behavior altogether. A key step in the process involves convincing people that sexual harassment is a public issue that affects all of us-not a personal problem.
As a group, the local union has the power to effect change. That’s what it’s all about. By fighting sexual harassment, Teamsters are taking important steps towards building the solidarity needed to win other gains in pay, benefits, and working conditions.