Anti-harassment policy

At Toronto IWW’s February General Membership Branch meeting, an anti-harassment policy was unanimously approved by all present. We borrowed the text as developed by Edmonton IWW.

Note that “General Bylaws” refers to the Constitution of the IWW, available in the Member Resources section of this website.

Toronto IWW GMB Anti-Harassment Policy

Preamble:

The Toronto IWW General Membership Branch, in keeping with the principles and beliefs of our organization, is committed to a just world. Justice includes the ability of all individuals to feel safe and protected while in the company of IWW members. We have developed a policy intended to prevent harassment of any type and to deal quickly and effectively with any incident that might occur.

Harassment of IWW members can occur any place where more than one member is gathered. This includes branch meetings, and formal and informal social events. Harassment is not limited to members’ inappropriate behavior to other members; it also includes members’ behavior towards non-members.

From the point of branch adoption of this policy forward, there will be no statute of limitations on harassment complaints.

Harassment occurs when an individual is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct because of reasons including but not limited to race, religious beliefs, colour, place of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, age, ancestry, marital status, and/or family status.

Examples of harassment which will not be tolerated are: verbal or physical abuse, threats, bullying, derogatory remarks, malicious jokes, innuendo or taunts about any member’s appearance, religious beliefs, colour, place of origin, sexual orientation, mental or physical abilities, ancestry, marital status, family status, or gender identity. The Toronto IWW also will not tolerate the display of pornographic, racist or offensive signs or images; malicious practical jokes that result in awkwardness or embarrassment; or unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit.

All harassment is offensive and in many cases it intimidates others. Harassment will not be tolerated by the Toronto IWW.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a violation of this policy. Unwanted sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favours, and other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment whether such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly.

Sexual harassment can include such things as pinching, patting, rubbing or leering, “dirty” jokes, pictures or pornographic materials, comments, suggestions, innuendoes, requests or demands of a sexual nature. The behaviour need not be intentional in order to be considered sexual harassment.

Policy:

Tell the harasser his/her behaviour is unwelcome and ask him/her to stop. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to your harasser about the incident, report the incident to a branch Delegate, a member of the Conflict Mediation Committee (CMC), or the Branch Secretary (hereafter referred to as the Officer) as soon as possible.

S/he will facilitate the completion of an official complaint form that will be kept as documentation of the incident for reference during the course of the investigation, but the report will be destroyed at the end of either conflict mediation or charges.

  1. The Officer will arrange a confidential meeting with the complainant in which they will decide whether or not to follow the charges procedure under Article III of the General Bylaws or the Conflict Mediation Procedure under Article XIV of the General Bylaws.
    The Officer will also provide information on Victims Services. If the Conflict Mediation Procedure is chosen, and the complainant desires anonymity, members of the CMC shall meet with the accused without identifying the complainant.
  2. If Conflict Mediation is pursued and the accused refuses to attend the meeting, or conciliation is not reached through bad faith on the part of the accused this process can move to Charges as outlined under Article III of the General Bylaws.
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