Unions act to eliminate workplace violence against women

Health and Safety, ITF, Safety and Security — By on November 28, 2014 at 7:23 PM

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ITF trade unions worldwide acted in unison to back the ITUC’s call for an ILO convention on gender-based violence at work on 25 November, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Workers said NO to violence against women on every continent, with many unions and the ITF sharing comments and images on Twitter and Facebook, for example members writing no on their hands or holding banners. Several Maritime Union of Australia branches held fundraisers for the White Ribbon campaign on violence against women. The ITF student summer school in Argentina held a debate on the role of unions and employers in preventing violence and showed a film about a recent case where the unions helped to stop the kidnapping of a women for prostitution. View the video here:http://itfescuela.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/trafico-de-personas-una-respuesta-sindical.

The Swazi Transport Workers’ Union announced that their lobbying had resulted in government assurances that Swaziland would endorse adoption of the convention. In India, members of the South Central Railway Employees Sangh, which is affiliated to ITF affiliate the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen, visited railway stations to give out ribbons with the slogan ‘no violence against women’, and women union leaders, activists and congress members addressed some 500 workers in a packed auditorium.Alison McGarry, ITF women transport workers’ co-ordinator, said: “Over the past few years, more ITF affiliates have reported incidents of physical, emotional and sexual abuse against women members than ever before. The problem is a collective union responsibility that requires a collective union response. It’s up to us to put the necessary strategies in place to end violence against women. Over the past few years, more ITF affiliates have reported incidents of physical, emotional and sexual abuse against women members than ever before. The problem is a collective union responsibility that requires a collective union response. It’s up to us to put the necessary strategies in place to end violence against women. Our affiliates are reporting increasing numbers of incidents of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at work. Unions must respond to this and prioritise developing strategies to end this violence. We’re pleased that so many of our affiliates highlighted the issue on 25 November.”

The ITUC is urging the ILO governing body to act, arguing that a convention would help to identify the true extent of the problem and help governments, unions and employers tackle it.

See more about what unions did on 25 November and add your union’s report: www.itfglobal.org/en/campaigns-solidarity/campaigns/end-workplace-violence-against-women. And take a look at photos of the events here:www.flickr.com/photos/itf/sets/72157649050667779

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