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Workplace Initiatives

Union and Worker Center Collaborations

Partnering to make workers safer

Learning Labs

The number of women experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault is staggering. 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence and 1 in 5 women experience sexual assault. Women who work in low-wage jobs, most of whom are women of color and mothers, are victimized by violence at even greater levels.

FUTURES is establishing two Learning Labs focused on improving the safety and economic security of janitorial workers and hotel room cleaners. In collaboration with unions, anti-violence advocates, worker rights advocates, as well as other stakeholders, FUTURES is creating industry-specific responses to sexual harassment and violence and its impact on workers and the workplace.

This effort is funded through a grant provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Union Collaborations

FUTURES, in partnership with United Way Worldwide, convened Reimagining Workplace Safety, a summit of union leaders, health and safety experts, researchers, and sexual and domestic violence, gender rights, economic justice, and workers’ rights advocates from across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the convening was to share and create strategies to shift the culture of the workplace to one that enhances support to workers experiencing gender-based violence on the job or at home.

FUTURES continues to partner with United Way Worldwide and their Labor Engagement team to explore new strategies and ideas for collaboration with unions and other workplace intermediaries to support workers experiencing violence and promote safety, worker agency, and gender equity.

Global Approach

Gender-based violence at work is a global epidemic. Reports indicate that 40-50% of women in industrialized countries experience unwanted sexual advances, harassment, or physical contact at work – a statistic that is likely worse in developing countries where violence often goes unreported.

In 2018, governments, businesses, and trade unions will meet at the International Labour Organization to decide whether to negotiate a binding international convention on Violence Against Women and Men in the World of Work. If approved, the convention would be a critical tool in the fight to end gender-based violence. It would provide guidance and best practices for legislators, employers and unions to identify, remedy and prevent both sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace and the impacts of intimate partner violence on a person’s working life. This would be the first international standard to address this critical issue, and would inform the struggle for gender equality and worker rights here in the United States and around the world.

To make the case for why a convention is necessary, FUTURES partnered with the Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO, and other organizations to produce the report Ending Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work in the United States.