Women-Friendly Workplace Update
by Angela Arboleda, Field Organizer

In an ongoing effort to address the allegations of harassment and discrimination at Detroit Edison power plants, Michigan NOW chapters participated in a day-long informational seminar. "A Forum on Corporate Justice at Detroit Edison" was held on March 27, 1999, to provide an opportunity for any worker who has experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace to learn how to fight back against these injustices. The forum was a safe space for workers from many different industries to come together, network and realize that they are not alone in the struggle to achieve workplaces where safety and equality are a priority.

On April 28, 1999, Alicia Perez-Banuet, Michigan NOW president, and a delegation of Detroit area NOW chapters spearheaded a picket outside Detroit Edison's Annual Shareholder's Meeting. The protest brought together a wide array of supporters who hoped to put pressure on Detroit Edison's management to change the oppressive culture in the power plants and warehouses. Among the supporters were: labor unions, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, religious groups and the NAACP.

Gwendolyn Ford-Crossley, one of the plaintiffs from the most recent class-action lawsuit against Detroit Edison for sexual harassment and sex, race and age discrimination, was allowed inside the shareholders' meeting. She testified before the investors in this Fortune 500 company, which is also the largest utility company in Michigan and the seventh largest electric utility in the nation.



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