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Order’s Up! Time for the food service industry of Ottawa to discuss sexual assault and harassment—03.05.18

By Apartment613 on March 3, 2018


Post by Amy Kishek. Amy is a union advocate, and co-host of the  Bad + Bitchy podcast.

Order’s up! On Monday March 5, the food service industry of Ottawa is invited to a discussion of sexual assault and harassment hosted at the Hintonburg Community Centre.

The world is reckoning with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and Ottawa is no exception. In Ottawa we have seen the issue of sexual harassment and gender-based violence exposed from the upper echelons of powers to Ottawa’s premiere foodie tourism destinations. Aside from salacious headlines, however, we have not yet begun to grapple with are the everyday experiences of sexual harassment and gender-based violence that plague food service workers.

Precarious work is endemic in the food industry—work is often offered on a part-time basis; the hours and shifts are not predictable or guaranteed; tips and pay are not consistent; benefits are a rarity; and sexual harassment, and harassment in general, is routine.

This Monday, a collective of individuals and organizations is seeking to change that by leading discussions of workplace sexual harassment and assault focusing on the food and beverage industry in Ottawa. We hope to explore the impact sexual harassment and assault has had on employees and their needs through facilitated discussions. Our aim is that it will eventually lead to creating co-developed workplace sexual harassment and assault policies for the hospitality industry.

We are optimistic that by bringing people together and working from an evidence-based, user-oriented approach we can address this issue effectively and head-on!

We will be holding two initial sessions on Monday, March 5. The first, 12:30-3pm, will be for hospitality staff (both front of house and back of house), with the second, 4:30-7pm, for management (including owners). Both events will take place at the Hintonburg Community Centre. Sign up in advance!

This event has been a collaboration between the following organizations and venue owners througout Ottawa. We would like to thank all those who dedicated their time, energy and expertise.

The Sexual Assault Network (SAN) is composed of individuals and organizations that are committed to ending sexual violence against women. The Network coordinates and sustains a broader advocacy and political action role with local organizations and individual community members to improve the response and access to services for women who have experienced sexual violence.

Bad and Bitchy Podcast: 3 feminists provide hot takes on the latest in politics, social issues and pop culture from the perspective of intersectionality.

Unifor Local 6004: Unifor is the largest private sector union in Canada representing over 315,000 workers, 1/3 of which are women, 62,000 that work in Ontario. As a union, we are always fighting for equality, to close the gender wage gap, increase access to good jobs including in the skilled trades, and end harassment at work.

The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals in the City of Ottawa and surrounding regions. Our members and partners include women abuse and rape crisis agencies; victim services; child protection services; representatives of area hospitals; representatives of the justice system, including the police, the Crown, and probation and parole services; health and counselling services; academic researchers; and other concerned community members.

Free tickets to Monday’s discussion at Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington Street West) are available online through Eventbrite