Addressing the TUC in Brighton on Tuesday (September 10), Unite delegate Bridie McCreesh called out her employer Newry Mourne and Down District Council in support of a motion on period dignity.
She said, “This motion raises the importance of dignity and respect – but it’s the indignity caused by the pig-headed ignorance of some employers I want to expose here.
“I work at Newry Mourne and Down District Council – and let their name ring out in shame across this hall. The Council management tell me they’ve fully signed up to Period Dignity.
“Well, Congress, let me tell you what their idea of dignity looks like at the local council-run Leisure Centre.
“It looks like a so-called ‘pink bin’ of sanitary products kept at the public reception.
“It looks like the bizarre set up where women using the changing rooms are expected to get dressed, walk back to the reception and request a ‘special sticker’.
Walk of shame
“Armed with that sticker they’re expected to do a walk of shame to this ‘pink bin’ to get to the sanitary products they need.
“Can you imagine what will happen when you ask young women of 13 or 14 to do that walk of shame?
“Congress, let me tell you what management say when they’re challenged on this ridiculous, degrading set up.
“They say that it doesn’t matter because no one who uses their leisure centres could possibly experience period poverty.
“And when you remind them that the centre is used by local school? Well, apparently that’s just the school’s problem.”
McCreesh said that while is is right that campaign incredible success is celebrated, every “ignorant, backward, stone-age employer be put on notice here and now”.
She said, “We will name and shame each and every one of them. Congress – support women’s dignity, support this motion.”