Sexual harassment rampant in the service sector
Affiliate surveys in North America and the Nordic countries and other information gathering has revealed alarming rates of sexual harassment in the hotel, restaurant, catering and tourism sectors.
Depending on the country and the survey sample, between 60-90% of female workers report experiencing sexual harassment during their working lives. A political backlash against gender equality initiatives in many countries is placing women at increased risk. Some workers (mostly women) are harassed so badly they are forced to resign their jobs and can suffer permanent emotional and psychological damage.The IUF is calling on employers to negotiate zero tolerance policies with IUF affiliates which provide for education and processes for complaint handling.
The IUF has agreements with Chiquita and Unilever, is working on gender equality with Nestlé, and has just agreed with Sodexo to work towards a joint commitment to minimize the risk of workers suffering from sexual harassment.
The IUF will participate in work which has begun at the ILO with the aim of establishing a new ILO convention on gender based violence.