Labour MP calls for action to tackle sexual harassment in trade unions

"We are calling on you to step forward and back your sisters up" - Harriet Harman

Labour MP Harriet Harman called for more ‘active male allies’ to tackle sexual harassment which she blasted had ‘marred the trade union movement for too long’, in a poignant speech on the final day of the TUC Congress.

Harman praised the women in the trade union movement along with expressing her support for Angela Rayner and the ‘vital link between trade unions and the Labour Party’.

“It’s inspiring to see here at Congress the women delegates and new women general secretaries who are fearlessly taking your unions forward, you are pioneers,” praised Harman.

“Women used to be shut out of union leadership and now you’ve pushed the door open. For the men here, do not breathe a sign of relief, you are not off the hook.”

Harman called on men in the trade union movement to, “step forward and back your sisters up”.

“For the men here, do not breathe a sign of relief. We used to shut men out of the women’s movement, but now we are calling on you to step forward and back your sisters up. To be active male allies. That includes tackling the sexual harassment that for too long has marred our movement.”

She went on to praise Angela Rayner as a “living example of the transformation the trade unions and Labour government can make to someone’s life.”

“The enduring link between trade unions and Labour is based in our history, but it’s vital for today and for our future. We share values and hopes, we work together to achieve them.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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