It’s easy to trawl Instagram and flip through trashy magazines while admiring the lives of famous actors. They’re rich, beautiful and successful – nothing bad could ever happen to them, right? We’d be happy and safe if we were one of them?
Wrong. As proven this week, even some of the top actors in Hollywood – both highly-paid and award-winning – have claimed they were sexually harassed by Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein. This wasn’t even just on their ‘way to the top’. As alleged by one anonymous, Oscar-nominated actor in her article for the Guardian (this article will open in a new window) she was accosted by Weinstein on her way home from attending the Oscars.
So what does this have to do with joining a union?
These offences – if true – were committed by people in a position of power over others who believed they were safe in a work environment. Many of the actors who have spoken out have explained that they thought they were simply attending a business meeting.
While these are horrific situations, they are not unique. Situations like this happen across the world, and in all fields and industries. It’s not just women who suffer either. Whether someone is abused or taken advantage of as a woman, a man or a child, because of their race, their religion or their sexual orientation – abuse at work comes in all forms and all places.
What this week has shown though, is the power of a collective brave enough to speak out. Exposing the alleged actions of Harvey Weinstein might not solve the issues in Hollywood overnight, but they will make a difference – as long as people are brave enough to continue standing together and speaking out for what's right.
In your workplace you may not think there’s an issue, and there may not be. But if there was an issue where you work – if someone was facing harassment or abuse - would they be brave enough to speak out about it? Would you know? What would you do if it was you?
Becoming part of a union means becoming part of a collective that stands up for what is right, and will speak out on your behalf when you need it. It also means you’re saying that you support others in your workplace, and will stand up for them as well.
Powerful people can get away with abuse when everyone else turns a blind eye. If you don’t want to be the person who looks the other way, consider joining your trade union today.
3 MONTHS FREE: Join during Prospect union week (16-20 October 2017) and you'll receive three months free membership. Click here to join.