FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: MELINDA SHELTON, 202-331-0066 x767; LAURA EDWARDS, 771
Despite demands from Smith Barney CEO Jamie Dimon that NOW cease public criticism of his company's poor treatment of women, NOW chapters in several cities will stage protests outside Smith Barney branches Monday, March 24.
Demonstrations Monday will be in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Kansas City, Mo., and Memphis. Contacts are: Laura Trucano-Harp in Chicago, (847)294-0345, Ext. 433; Toni Troop in Boston, (617)782-1056; Nicolette Toussaint in San Francisco, (415)861-8960; Pam Whittington in Seattle, (206)632-8547; Sharon Lockhart in Kansas City, (913)649-5300; and Susan MacKenzie in Memphis, (901)526-0809.
NOW named Smith Barney a "Merchant of Shame" March 12, when NOW launched a national Women-Friendly Workplace Campaign. In the largest suit of its kind against a Wall Street investment firm, 26 women have complained of sexual harassment, glass ceilings and other discrimination at branch offices in 11 states.
The firm is also targeted for trying to force the women to give up their rights under equal employment opportunity laws and instead to go into binding arbitration.
In a letter to NOW President Patricia Ireland, Dimon charged NOW with "public grandstanding and publicity seeking" by targeting Smith Barney. He also accused NOW of failing to research the firm's progress in promoting fairness in the workplace.
"Mr. Dimon's fondest dream may be that we're just grandstanding and will go away when the camera lights fade," Ireland said. "He will soon wake up to find that we're in this for as long as it takes to win justice for the women involved.
"Since our announcement, other Smith Barney employees and an attorney representing former employees have come forward with even more workplace abuse stories. The firm's own statistics show how far it has to go to reach real equality and fairness.
For more information log on to NOW's Website at http://www.now.org/ or call (202)331-0066.
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