Statement: UNAC/UHCP President Denise Duncan’s Message of Solidarity with Survivors of Sexual Harassment
“Over the last four months, women all over the country and the world have begun to share their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace. These stories started on social media under the hashtag #metoo. Later, reports came from elected officials, lawyers, policewomen, and many other job classifications where the outside observer would assume some protection based solely on professional training or status. Unfortunately, it’s quite clear that sexual harassment is pervasive, impacting women no matter what industry.
“According to the newly-formed advocacy group and legal defense fund TIME’S UP, NBC News reported last year that nearly half of American women reported they have been harassed in the workplace. A Dec. 28, 2017 New York Times article reported 25% of the 615 men surveyed for their story on sexual harassment engaged in what they termed “gender harassment,” including telling crude jokes or stories and sharing inappropriate videos at work.
“As the TIME’S UP website makes clear, women in low-wage service jobs face harassment at an even greater rate. According to information from the Center for American Progress, sexual harassment is worse for those in the service sector. Many of the women who have already spoken out about sexual harassment were able to do so because they come from a privileged field where their voices were heard. The reality is there are many women who cannot come forward with their harassment stories because they’d be risking their jobs and their families’ livelihood. Even worse, some do in spite of the risk and face retaliation that forces them to leave their jobs—or be fired. We cannot silence 50% of the country and expect women to put up with sexual harassment and assault.
“As a female President of a health care union, I stand in solidarity with those women. We must rally around all women impacted and remain committed to a new idea of a workplace where harassment is never considered “just part of the job.” For the waitress who must endure harassment for tips, for the female construction worker put in danger in retaliation for reporting harassment, and for the farmworker who worries about what will happen if she’s trapped alone with her boss, we must stand united and demand our society progresses.
“Women have the right to do their jobs without the threat of harassment and assault. Right now is the time for our country to do better.”
United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) represents over 30,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals, including optometrists; pharmacists; physical, occupational and speech therapists; case managers; nurse midwives; social workers; clinical lab scientists; physician assistants and nurse practitioners. UNAC/UHCP is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.
Contact: Jeff Rogers, Communications Specialist
Jeff.Rogers@unacuhcp.org | 909-263-7230