IndustriALL recently launched a new campaign ‘Unions say no to violence against women’. Every day since IndustriALL’s Executive committee adopted the pledge at its meeting in November, more affiliates have themselves taken the pledge. All affiliates in Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and Cambodia and SMEFI in India have taken the pledge, while in Latin America, affiliates in Guatemala, Argentina, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil took the pledge and have started to disseminate it through their union structures, including UTICRA, FESTRAS, FESITEX and SINATRAPROFITECC. In Africa, the FID in Burkina Faso and ZEWU from Zimbabwe have shown their commitment by taking the pledge. In Europe and North America affiliates which have so far taken the pledge include the USW, Fellesforbundet, the Metalworkers Trade Union of Croatia – Industrial Trade Union (SMH-IS), Nezavisnost IER in Serbia.
Violence against women is a core trade union issue. IndustriALL’s affiliates around the globe are engaged in action to prevent and combat this violation of human rights, including through education campaigns with their membership and through inclusion of provisions in their collective bargaining agreements to protect women from violence and provide paid leave for women who have suffered from violence and harassment.
By taking the pledge, the affiliates commit to continue and reinforce their action.
The media spotlight is currently on the widespread cover up of sexual violence against women as a result of the long overdue exposure of many high profile cases in the entertainment industry and the political arena. Thousands of women in many countries are breaking the silence through social media with #MeToo. Violence against women exists not only in industries in the public eye, it is widespread in every IndustriALL sector, in every country. THIS MUST END!
IndustriALL urges all its affiliates to take the pledge and promote it through their union structures, prompting discussion and debate to ensure that the act of signing by the leadership or adoption through the union decision making body is well understood and publicized by and within the union.
Concerted union action to highlight the continuing and pervasive violence against women in our sectors will send a strong message to the perpetrators and their employers that all forms of violence against women are unacceptable.
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