WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor held an online roundtable Thursday to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment in the trucking industry, and discuss how industry stakeholders can work together to combat these concerns by promoting strategies to ensure safe and inclusive work environments.
Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the department’s Women’s Bureau, moderated the discussion. She was joined by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and representatives from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Teamsters Local 710, S.H.E Trucking, Grand Island Express and Futures Without Violence.
“People employed in the trucking industry – especially women – are entitled to feel safe in their workplace,” said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “Our economy depends on a healthy supply chain supported by a strong trucking industry with motivated workers who should never fear for their personal safety at work. The Biden-Harris administration and trucking industry’s leaders commitment to combating sexual harassment and workplace violence is vital to our nation’s well-being.”
Organized by the departments of Labor and Transportation, the event coincides with the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and answers the Biden-Harris administration’s call for a national “Day of Action” to raise awareness and advocate for the prevention of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the trucking industry. This event also aligns with the Biden-Harris administration’s Trucking Action Plan, which seeks to improve training and safety standards to recruit, train and retain drivers from underrepresented communities.
“For too long, widespread – and often unchecked – incidents of sexual assault, violence and harassment in the trucking industry have damaged lives, destroyed careers and steered women away from pursuing trucking jobs,” said Women’s Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon. “The Day of Action is an important step toward bringing industry stakeholders together to denounce sexual violence and harassment, effect meaningful change and, we hope, to inspire similar actions in other historically male-dominated occupations and industries.”
The Women of Trucking Advisory Board, a key part of the Trucking Action Plan, has been established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation to work together with drivers and trucking organizations to help eliminate barriers that keep women from entering and staying in the trucking profession, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.