Archive for March 2012
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JOLIET — Priscilla Marshall was an 18-year-old warehouse worker when she walked into the Elwood Police Department back in August 2010 to report she had been sexually harassed and abused by a boss at Partners Warehouse.
She said the supervisor slapped her buttocks, pinched her breasts and he was harassing other female employees. He also coerced her into having sex using threats of termination, Marshall told police.
“At first, I thought like I was doing the right thing,” she said of the report. “Then I felt I did the wrong thing because we were in jail.”
More than 100 people turned out for a hearing on sexual harassment earlier this month that was sponsored by Warehouse Workers for Justice.
At the hearing, WWJ highlighted the plight of women who say they are groped, propositioned and leered at while at work. When the women complained, they said they were switched to harder duties or told to go home if they didn’t like it.
“When you report it, it’s like you did something bad,” said Uylonda Dickerson, who works at the Walmart warehouse in Elwood.
During the hearing, attendees were told many women face sexual harassment in their lives and that there were thousands of complaints filed last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the governmental agency empowered to act against discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Curtis Black, Newstips.org
Two events will highlight the concerns of women workers on International Women’s Day: a rally at the Chicago Board of Trade highlighting low wages for women janitors paid by the highly profitable and tax-favored CME Group; and a hearing in Joliet focused on retaliation against women warehouse workers complaining of sexual harassment, including a case where a complainant was herself arrested.
The following was written by Mike Reed of Sheridan, IL, courtesy of MoveOn.org:
Anyone expecting dry statistical evidence at the Warehouse Workers for Justice meeting last Thursday at Mount Carmel Church in Joliet heard instead many personal and gripping stories of sexual harassment and assault—delivered by half a dozen of the victims themselves.
Originally hailed by local chambers of commerce and city officials as a means of easing the high unemployment rate in their respective areas, local chambers of commerce and city officials assured the public that building the warehouse system would be a boon to the economy as people hired to work within such structures would be given the opportunity to earn a living wage and be accorded benefits. The picture painted was a rosy one.