Geoff Carens geoff.carens at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 16:37:44 PDT 2012

Dear All,

When a much older and larger male co-worker repeatedly grabbed her and
tried to kiss her at work, despite her forceful protests, Harvard employee
Johany Pilar reported the harassment to supervisors. A union member, Johany
was appalled when she was told by the boss that she must give too many hugs
at work, and that she should stop giving hugs. The victim-blaming didn't
end there. She was compelled to train the co-worker, and when she very
reluctantly tried to do this, it led to even more aggressive, painful
physical grabbing. Later she was pressured by a manager to cancel a therapy
appointment she'd set up to cope with the harassment, even though he knew
full well what Johany's appointment was for. Another boss confronted her
one morning when she started work, telling her that unspecified "big, big
problems" lay in store for her. Later she was threatened verbally with
being fired. In September, Johany was hit with unfair written discipline
warning her she could soon face termination. She never had any disciplinary
warnings before she reported the harassment, and has worked at the
University since 1998!

You can read more about Johany's story in this
A coalition of progressive organizations has signed an Open
Letter<http://www.perspy.com/?p=1050>protesting her treatment. She's
filed complaints of gender discrimination
and retaliation at the MA Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

This Thursday, October 18, starting at 5 pm, union members, students and
community supporters will gather to show our solidarity for Johany Pilar.
We are determined to confront and defeat rape culture and get justice for
our brave sister, who is only standing up for her right to fair and equal
treatment! We will meet in front of Harvard's Holyoke Center, 1350 Mass.
Ave. in Cambridge, right next to the Harvard MBTA Red Line stop. A map is
All are encouraged to invite any media contacts and to speak out at the
event, as individuals or on behalf of their organizations. For the Facebook
event, please click here <http://www.facebook.com/events/424216617625393/>.
Feel free to forward this message as widely as possible.

In Solidarity,

Geoff Carens, Union Rep, Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers
Member, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
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