Reprinted from Bloomberg News by Josh Eidelson on November 7, 2017.
Richard Trumka, the head of America’s biggest labor organization, opened its October national convention in an unusual way: the AFL-CIO president read a passage from the code-of-conduct and gave out the contact information of two people designated to field any complaints about sexual harassment or other discriminatory or inappropriate behavior.
“It’s a zero-tolerance policy,” Trumka told reporters that day. “We think we’re on the cutting edge of that. And if we aren’t, we want to be there.”
Less senior activists say the country’s biggest union federation – and the broader labor movement – still have a ways to go. The AFL-CIO’s chief budget officer and assistant to Trumka, Terry Stapleton, resigned Monday following allegations of sexual harassment. The Service Employees International Union, the second-biggest union in the US, is recovering from its own harassment scandal that has seen the departure of four senior staff. …