Almost half of the female transport workers are subjected to sexual harassment, the study shows


Almost half of female transport workers have been sexually harassed at work, according to a new study.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union surveyed 1,400 female workers across rail, bus, metro and passenger ferries.

It found that four in 10 have been victims of such disturbing behavior in the past year, with incidents including touching and grabbing without consent, and unwanted comments.

Despite that, 70% of those affected did not report the incidents because they felt their complaint would not be taken seriously.

And more than 80% of women said sexual harassment on public transport is getting worse, the survey found.

“I’ve had several men stroke my bum as they pass by and it’s during the day. On a drunken night it’s worse I’ve had a group of men grab me and say , come on love, sit on my knee.” said one of the women quoted in the study.

Others said they were cat-called, touched, stared at, subjected to unpleasant conversations, given unwanted compliments or had their photos taken without their permission.

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Mick Lynch says the survey results make for uncomfortable reading

In response to the inquiry, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch claimed that increasing staffing and reducing solitary work will help make female members feel safer.

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He said: “On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, this survey shows that employers in the public transport industry and authorities in wider society have much more to do to tackle misogyny and harassment of women.

“I am grateful to all our female members who participated and shared their experiences, some of which make for uncomfortable reading.

“The RMT will always support our female members at work in combating sexual harassment and holding employers accountable for any failings.”

Job cuts as well as wages and conditions were one of the focal points in RMT’s dispute with the train companies, which has led to a long strike.

But the two sides have recently entered into an agreement which could bring the long-standing disagreement to an end.

Plans for ticket closures and job losses have been dropped as part of the deal, Mr Lynch said, but it still had to be voted on by the membership.


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