Tag Archives: Anti-Harassment

International Union Delivers Anti-Harassment Accord to Marriott

During the United Nations International Labor Organization Conference in Geneva last moth, hotel workers from across the globe met to discuss sexual harassment in the workplace and to hand an accord to Marriott bosses. The workers marched from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix to the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva where they handed “Global Demands on Marriott Regarding Sexual Harassment” to two separate Marriott bosses. The action was coordinated by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco, and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF).

The accord read: “Today the world is focused on ending sexual harassment and gender-based violence at work. As affiliates of the IUF, the global union representing more than 10 million workers in sectors including hotels, restaurants, and catering services, we call on Marriott to partner with us toward meeting this goal.”

Hotel workers are vulnerable to harassment from co-workers, management, and guests and employers often see them as expendable. When they report, little or no action is taken, and if it’s a guest, the worker may even be sent back to clean the same room the next day.

Marriott was not targeted because it is the worse offender, but because it is the largest and most profitable hotel chain in the world. “We believe that when Marriott raises standards for workers, it’ll have a ripple impact across the entire industry,” explains UNITE HERE National Press Secretary Rachel Gumpert.

Though the meeting with the Marriott bosses was positive, the union hasn’t so far seen any formal action from Marriott. “This kind of systematic disregard for their basic safety at work is something that women are just not willing to accept any longer,” adds Gumpert.

CFM Holds Anti-Harassment Summit

On March 1, the Canadian Federation of Musicians launched the first Canadian Music Industry Anti-Harassment Summit in Toronto. Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly addressed the Summit via Skype. Joly and Canadian Heritage support the goals of the meeting body and will look to us to set policy that Heritage can endorse and help us to enforce against victimizers.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians hosted a harassment summit on March 1. Many music industry representatives gathered in the ACTRA boardroom, while others joined by teleconference.

Also in attendance at the summit were representatives from the Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Heritage Department of Music Policy and Programs, Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAs)/JUNO Awards, East Coast Music Association, Canadian Actors Equity Association, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Toronto, ACTRA RACS, Canadian Music Publishers Association, Screen Composers Guild of Canada, Toronto Arts Council, Music Canada, Musicians Rights Organization Canada, Songwriters Association of Canada, Women in Music Canada, and more.

The goal of the summit, according to AFM/CFM Executive Director Liana White was to work together to create an industry-wide policy against harassment in work and performance places, to protect ourselves, our colleagues, and our audiences. CFM’s mission statement includes treating each other with respect and dignity without regard to ethnicity, creed, sex, age, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or national origin.

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), which is recognized as having the highest standards and therefore can be applied in all provinces, defines workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome.”

It can include:

  • Remarks, jokes, and innuendos that ridicule, intimidate, or offend
  • Verbal, physical, psychological abuse
  • Exclusionary behavior
  • Displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in any form
  • Stalking

CFM members need to have a safe and respectful work environment, whomever they work with and wherever they work.