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The Worker Institute brings together researchers, educators and students with practitioners in labor, business and policymaking to address issues related to confronting systemic inequality and building a fair economy, robust democracy and just society. We will share opinion, analysis, research, data, insights and training from our faculty and staff.

In-person NYC Workshop: Gender Based Violence and Harassment: The Union’s Role in Prevention, Intervention and Cultural Change

Workshop NYC

Gender Based Violence and Harassment: The Union’s Role in Prevention, Intervention and Cultural Change

June 15 and 21, 2022

9:00 A.M - 5:00 P.M. EST

The resurgence of the #MeToo movement, resurgence in anti-transgender legislation across the country, and the continued impacts of the pandemic have challenged unions to take on issues of gender-based violence. From anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the workplace consequences of interpersonal violence, these issues are deeply embedded in structural inequalities. The challenge requires bold and innovative strategies. 

Addressing Sexual Harassment/IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) needs to be a union cultural shift, not a checkbox or online test for compliance. #MeToo revealed issues of sexual harassment are happening much more than we think or want to know and affects everything from workplace dynamics to larger issues of diversity and equity. By not addressing it, we're complicit in it.

Unions, in their representational and employer roles, are uniquely positioned to make a difference given the values of mutual aid, solidarity, gender, social and racial justice, economic security and workplace safety using the vehicle of collective bargaining and other strategies to be champions of cultural change. 

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Key Topics & Outcomes

Part 1 – Defining Behaviors, Legal Protections & The Union’s Role and Responsibilities (June 15)

  • Behaviors defined as sexual harassment, domestic or intimate partner violence within the legal frameworks of employment, safety and health, and collective bargaining.
  • How multiple identities of those targeted influence the impact of the experience and choice of strategies. 
  • Learn a variety of prevention and intervention skills based on your representational or staff role and responsibilities in the union.
  • Learn techniques to deal with the trauma and stress that come from these issues for those targeted.
  • Allyship strategies.
  • How to respond when members are perpetrators of domestic violence, even on the same worksite as their target.
  • How to partner with union member’s assistance programs, EAPs, and local community service providers to create a resource network for membership.

Part 2: Union’s Role as Champion of Cultural Change (June 21, 2022)

  • Model programs to engage men as allies in promoting gender equity from community/union partnerships.
  • How to apply lessons to the US from the international labor standards from ILO C190 to end gender-based violence in the world of work.
  • Models of participatory research and culture audits to center “survivor” and worker voice to capture the pulse of union culture and measure change.
  • Best practice research studies and reports.
  • Mapping out strategies for your next step union strategies to create short and long-term vision - supports and challenges to promote cultural change.

Approach & Features

This two-part workshop which is part of a series will include short presentations, case studies, small group work, group discussions, and role play. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss real challenges they face with peers in the workshop. This workshop is open to union elected leaders, stewards, committee members, and union staff in the public and private sectors who are involved in union governance, operations, representational and educational roles. Cornell ILR Certificates of Participation awarded for attendance at both sessions. $200 per series, this program series is funded through public funding from New York State. 

For more information about this workshop please contact KC Wagner at kcw8@cornell.edu or Anna Rivera at ar2249@cornell.edu. 

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