New York Times: Caught in the Middle of #MeToo: Unions That Represent Accusers and Accused
By Michael Cooper
17 May 2019
When New York City Ballet fired the star dancer Amar Ramasar eight months ago for sharing vulgar texts and sexually explicit photos of a dancer with a colleague, it said it needed “to ensure that our dancers and staff have a workplace where they feel respected and valued.”
But Mr. Ramasar will return to the stage with City Ballet on Saturday afternoon. To the dismay of some women in the company, he won his job back with help of their very own union, which persuaded an arbitrator that Mr. Ramasar’s firing had been too severe a punishment.
From the shop floors of factories to ballet’s grandest stages, organized labor is struggling to balance a set of competing and sometimes conflicting interests as it grapples with the sharp uptick in #MeToo-related cases in recent years.
Unions work to protect members from harassment, but they also have a duty to protect the rights of members accused of misconduct. The most difficult conflicts arise when one union member accuses another of harassment: Several unions, including the United Automobile Workers, have come under fire for seeming to do more to protect the jobs of the accused than the women who were their targets.
Read the full article in The New York Times.
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