For immediate release
December 14, 2017
Years of Anti-Sex Harassment Campaigning in Our Industry Gaining Recognition
New York, NY – Today UNITE HERE celebrates TIME Magazine naming our union hotel housekeepers who stood up to sexual harassment from guests as their 2017 Person of the Year, in their Silence Breakers issue on stands Friday. Our Person of the Year recognition specifically features UNITE HERE hotel workers Juana of UNITE HERE Local 11 and Esthela of UNITE HERE Local 1, who both spoke out about sexual harassment they experienced at work in 2017 and then went on to run union campaigns in their own cities to reform the harassment epidemic in the hospitality industry. A third hotel worker who spoke out about harassment is also featured.
“Sexual harassment is pervasive in the hospitality industry, and since 2012 UNITE HERE has been fighting for and winning cutting edge protections against it in the workplace,” says D. Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE. “The national conversation is at last catching up to a problem our union’s courageous members who have been not only speaking out on, but actively running campaigns against and beating – from New York to DC and Seattle and Chicago. We are deeply honored that TIME Magazine featured our incredibly brave hotel housekeepers as their 2017 Person of the Year, and that our union sisters’ over seven years of being ‘Silence Breakers’ is now getting the national recognition and admiration they deserve. I and our union are long in awe of the courage of our hotel housekeepers, cocktail servers, bartenders, waitreses, and many more members in speaking out against the sexual harassment and assault that is too prevelant in the hospitality industry. The courage of our union workers in speaking out is resulting in changed policies across our industry that can transform lives.”
UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers across the hospitality industry, many of whom are in predominately female job classifications such as hotel housekeepers or cocktail servers. Our female workers across the hospitality industry have been ‘Silence Breakers’ at great personal risk for many years before the national conversation caught up to them, leading campaigns that won new protections against harassment by organizing with their union. In addition to speaking out on their personal experiences of sexual harassment, UNITE HERE hotel housekeepers have actively campaigned for and won greater protections against sexual harassment in NYC, DC, Seattle, and Chicago since 2012.
UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada.