Today in Labor History: October 9
Retail stock brokerage Smith Barney reaches a tentative sexual harassment settlement with a group of female employees. The suit charged, among other things, that branch managers asked female workers to remove their tops in exchange for money and one office featured a “boom boom room” where women workers were encouraged to “entertain clients.” The settlement was never finalized: a U.S. District Court judge refused to approve the deal because it failed to adequately redress the plaintiff’s grievances – 1997
(Unwelcome and Unlawful: Sexual Harassment in the American Workplace: Nearly every American woman will, at some point during her working life, be sexually harassed, according to Raymond F. Gregory, a lawyer specializing in employment and discrimination law. Unwelcome and Unlawful provides up-to-date information for those victims as well as for those suffering same-sex harassment and for male victims of sexual harassment. The author analyzes sexual harassment from the perspective of existing federal law and describes the legal rights that may be asserted by victims of harassment to obtain either injunctive or monetary relief.)
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Member Tip: Selecting the Union’s Bargaining Team
There’s no “one size fits all” for bargaining committees, since the size and makeup of each workplace is different. Bargaining a contract requires a tremendous amount of time and effort, in both face-to-face negotiations and in each side doing separate preparation and research. Teams need to be small enough to get the work done efficiently. But it also makes sense for a union bargaining team to be large enough to include people with a close understanding of the needs of the various types of people in the bargaining unit. Whether the differences are those of day and night workers, skilled and unskilled, male and female, different races or cultural groups, or anything else, the union needs some way of making sure that the bargaining team can speak forcefully and accurately for all members.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer