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Workplace Initiatives

Unions & Worker Centers

LEARN • LEAD • ORGANIZE • SUPPORT: Model Curriculum for Unions

This training curriculum facilitator’s guide was originally developed for an in-person and interactive training program for UNITE HERE! Local 23 members. Created specifically for hospitality and retail workers, this training is filled with relatable scenarios of situations that workers actually face.

Responding to Gender-Based Violence & Harassment: Trauma-Informed Strategies for the Labor Movement

When engaging survivors in advocacy efforts, it is critical to promote practices that are survivor-centered and trauma-informed. These tools can help unions and worker centers identify opportunities to improve and strengthen current practices on responding to gender-based violence and harassment.


Top 10 Things Unions Can Do Right Now to Address Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Unions were established to promote dignity, equality, and respect for all workers. As such, unions have an important role to play in creating safer, and more supportive and accountable workplaces. Unions are in a unique position: they have the power to influence how employers address harassment in workplaces where they have collective bargaining relationships or where they are organizing. This resource features practices that unions could adopt right now to address sexual harassment in America’s workplaces.

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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 established 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 created industry-specific responses to sexual harassment and violence and its impact on workers and the workplace.

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

Reimagining Workplace Safety

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.

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.