CHICAGO, Ill.—A dozen women who work in Chicago hotels met with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other labor leaders Mar. 12 to talk about their experiences with sexual harassment by guests and what unions can do about it.  “Bringing this to light is really comforting,” said a UNITE HERE Local 1 member who asked to only be identified as “Millie.” “A lot of ladies go through this.” “It’s our belief that sexual harassment is a workplace safety issue,” said Trumka, who was in the city for a Midwest strategy session. “We, as a labor movement, are dead serious about changing the culture of the workplace.” “It’s one of those things that’s kind of normal in the hotels,” said a woman who went by “Latonia.” Others said that when they reported sexual harassment by guests, their bosses would “laugh it off.” Under a city law passed last fall, all hotel employees working alone must be given “panic buttons” they can use to call for help by July 1. However, Alderwoman Michelle Harris has proposed amending the city’s sexual-harassment ordinance to limit it to only workers who clean guest rooms and bathrooms, a Local 1 spokesperson told the Chicago Sun-Times. Read more


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