The Housemaid, Her Union and Strauss-Kahn
One very important fact has been largely absent from the coverage of the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and leading candidate to be the next president of France. The hotel housekeeper who he allegedly assaulted was represented by a union.
The reason that this is an important part of the story is that it is likely that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s victim likely would not have felt confident enough to pursue the issue with either her supervisors or law enforcement, if she had not been protected by a union contract. The vast majority of hotel workers in the United States, like most workers in the private sector, do not enjoy this protection.
This matters because under the law in the United States, an employer can fire a worker at any time for almost any reason. It is illegal for an employer to fire a worker for reporting a sexual assault. If any worker can prove that this is the reason they were fired, they would get their job back and probably back pay. (The penalties tend to be trivial, so the back pay is unfortunately not a joke.)
However, it is completely legal for an employer to fire a worker who reports a sexual assault for having been late to work last Tuesday or any other transgression. Since employers know the law, they don’t ever say that they are firing a worker for reporting a sexual assault. They might fire workers who report sexual assaults for other on-the-job failings, real or invented.
In this way the United States stands out from most other wealthy countries. For example, all the countries of Western Europe afford workers some measure of employment protection, where employers must give a reason for firing workers. Workers can contest their dismissal if they think the reason is not valid, unlike the United States where there is no recourse.
Imagine the situation of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s victim had she not been protected by a union contract. She is a young immigrant mother who needs this job to support her family. It seems that she did not know Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s identity at the time she reported the assault, but she undoubtedly understood that the person staying in the $3,000 a night suite was a wealthy and important person.
In these circumstances, how likely would it be that she would make an issue of a sexual assault to her supervisors? Housekeepers are generally among the lowest paid workers at hotels, often earning little more than the minimum wage. It is a high turnover job, meaning that any individual housekeeper is likely to be viewed as easily replaceable by the management.
If this housekeeper did not enjoy the protection of a union contract, is it likely that she would have counted on her supervisors taking her side against an important guest at the hotel? Would she be prepared to risk her job to pursue the case?
We can never know how this particular woman would have responded; fortunately she did have the protection of the union. However, it is likely that many similar assaults go unreported because the victims do not feel they can risk their jobs to pursue the case. They have to simply accept an attack like this as part of the job.
There is a special irony to this situation given Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s position. The IMF, along with other pillars of the economic establishment, has long pushed for reducing the rights of workers at their workplace. Specifically, they have pushed countries around the world to adopt measures that would weaken the power of unions.
They have also urged the Western European countries to eliminate or weaken the laws that prevent employers from firing workers at will. These laws, along with unions, are seen as labor market rigidities that prevent labor markets from operating efficiently.
In the dream world of the economists’ textbook policies, all employers would have the ability to fire employees at will. There would be no protective legislation and no unions to get in the way.
In that economist’s dream world, Mr. Strauss-Kahn and any other powerful individual would be fairly certain that they could sexually assault hotel workers with impunity. Maybe the IMF will adopt a new policy of putting up its top male managers in non-union hotels.
Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He is the author of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy and False Profits: Recoverying From the Bubble Economy.
This article originally appeared in The Guardian.
2 Comments »
or go to
A Catastrophe Of “Modern” Science
By P Gosselin | No Tricks Zone | May 25, 2016
Weston Price was an American dentist who had been shocked by the wave of physical degeneration he observed among patients, who suffered tremendously from caries and facial deformities, along with the number of crippling diseases that seemed to accompany it.
To find out what was happening, he journeyed to many remote regions across the globe to study “primitive” tribes and people who were still isolated from “modern” living. What he found was stunning and revealing: These people were in tremendous physical and mental condition. He observed that physical degeneration had little to do with genetics, was mostly nutrition-based, and that it took only one generation to turn a physically superior community of people into a health and societal basket case.
He journeyed to isolated areas of the globe where the so-called “primitive” people relied on their own local natural food sources and customs for nourishment and health. Their practices had been perfected over generations. Price examined tens of thousands of teeth, facial forms, dental arches of not only living persons, but also of exhumed skulls. He found near dental perfection and few modern diseases among them. Health was at an impeccable level.
No matter if it was a community in Switzerland or Polynesians in the South Pacific, those who relied on their traditional food staples were in a state of excellent health and near physical perfection.
Throughout the book Price describes natives of great physical strength, well-being, keen intelligence and near zero crime rates within their communities. Cancer, heart disease and metabolic syndrome – our modern diseases – were almost non-existent. But as soon as these peoples and tribes came into contact with western “modern” nutrition, their health deteriorated rapidly and dramatically. … Read full review
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Rest in Peace Dear Hedy May 26, 2016
- Video: Life for Palestinian merchants under occupation in the old city, Jerusalem May 25, 2016
- Video : Demolished Home In Wadi Joz , East Jerusalem May 21, 2016
- Clinton and Trump: Nuclearized or Lobotomized? May 17, 2016
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC Al-Manar al-Qaeda American Civil Liberties Union Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Da’esh Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Greg Bacon on The Web They Want: How a twitt… Brian Harry, Austral… on Iraqi government formed in 200… Brian Harry, Austral… on 9/11 – The monstrous… Louisa Mccutcheon on Prominent British professor tu… rediscover911com on 9/11 – The monstrous… dizo54 on Harvard Trained Immunologist D… Brian Harry, Austral… on 9/11 – The monstrous… Brian Harry, Austral… on ‘Unforgivable’: Majority of Br… GUZE SPITERI on ‘Unforgivable’: Majority of Br… traducteur on BREXIT: Divorcing Britain fro… Yvonne Ridley on The Dunbar Martyrs roberthstiver on Israeli authorities transfer p… rediscover911com on Russia Not to Discuss Conditio… Brian Harry, Austral… on Russia Denounces External Forc… Brian Harry, Austral… on Russia’s Gazprom No Longer Int…
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,592,803 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Saudi Arabia biggest sponsor of terrorism: Iran May 27, 2016
- Trucks Carrying Weapons For al-Nusra Front Arrive From Turkey Daily May 27, 2016
- Nominally Populist Sweden Democrats Help Ratify NATO Deal May 27, 2016
- The Web They Want: How a twitter wordsearch justifies internet censorship May 27, 2016
- UN Body on Prevention of Torture Suspends Visit to Ukraine May 27, 2016
- Iraqi government formed in 2003 was fully controlled by US – Iraq’s former defense minister May 26, 2016
- 9/11 – The monstrous myth May 26, 2016
- ‘Unforgivable’: Majority of Brits can’t absolve Tony Blair of his Iraq war sins May 26, 2016
- Europe Revolts Against Russian Sanctions May 26, 2016
- Israeli authorities transfer political prisoner Marwan Barghouti to undisclosed location May 26, 2016
- BREXIT: Divorcing Britain from EU Trade with Israel Would Help Ensure Future Security of UK May 26, 2016
- Freddie Gray Case Judge Rules it is Unreasonable to Expect Cops to Obey the Law May 26, 2016
- Afghan Taliban: Haibatullah Akhundzada Appointed New Leader May 25, 2016
- Liberation Day in South Lebanon: Resistance and Memory at Khiam Prison May 25, 2016
- Russia Denounces External Forces for Crisis in Venezuela May 25, 2016
- Russia Not to Discuss Conditions for Lifting Sanctions – Lavrov May 25, 2016
- “Significant security risks”: State Department says Clinton violated email security rules May 25, 2016
- Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy May 25, 2016
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.