Time Magazine’s person of the year always draws a lot of attention from around the globe and this year was no different.
This year the silence breakers were awarded that title, including the activist who started the #metoo movement Tarana Burke. She initially started the movement in 2006 and it caught fire this year when it was tweeted by celebrities such as Alissa Milano.
Although it started south of the border, sexual harassment and assault is an issue around the world including Canadian workplaces. A new survey has found that more than half of women in Canada have experienced sexual harassment at work.
Some of the common complaints were unwanted physical touching, cat calls, being referred to using derogatory or demeaning sexual terms and being pressured for dates. The majority did not report the harassment.
The Supreme Court of Canada defines workplace sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the victims of the harassment.”
Unions have fought to protect workers from harassment no matter their race, gender or age.
When you are part of a union, you can reach out to a Shop Steward or Business Agent you feel comfortable sharing the issue with. If you are not yet a part of a union, calling one and finding out what your rights are is also an action you could take.
Trade unions are there to stand up for all of your rights as a worker and ensure that you are working in a safe and healthy work environment – that includes being free of sexual harassment in the workplace.