Survey of women transport workers shows unacceptable level of sexual harassment

Survey of women transport workers shows unacceptable level of sexual harassment

25 November 2023

40 percent of women public transport workers have been sexually harassed, RMT research has found.

The union surveyed 1400 women workers across rail, bus, metro and passenger ferry and found the following:

• 4 in 10 women public transport worker said they had been sexually harassed at work in the last year. Yet nearly 70% of those affected did not report the incidents.

• When asked why they did not report, the most common response was that they did not think their complaint would be taken seriously.

• More than 80% of women said that sexual harassment on public transport is becoming more of a problem.

Our women members also shared several distressing statements including:

“I have had numerous men stroke my bum as they pass by and that's in the day. Of a night when they are drunk it's worse I've had a group of men grab me and say come on love sit on my knee."

“Cat-calling, touching, staring, unwanted uncomfortable conversation, unwanted 'complements' and people taking pictures of me without my permission.”

“Sexually aggressive and explicit language as a form of intimidation is a frequent thing.”

“I have had many comments made to me, one of the comments that was made to me which stuck with me was “you look amazing in that uniform but I think you would look out of it “

“There are fewer staff and perpetrators become emboldened by this.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "On the International day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, this survey shows employers have much more to do in the public transport industry and the authorities in wider society, in tackling misogyny and harassment against women.

"It is clear that more staffing and reducing lone working will help make our members feel safer.

"I am grateful to all our women members who took part and shared their experiences some of which make for uncomfortable reading.

"RMT will always support our women members at work in combatting sexual harassment and hold employers to account for any shortcomings."


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