UAW Regions 9 & 9A Statement on AG James' Independent Investigation into Alleged Sexual Harassment by Governor Cuomo

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2021

Contact: Beverley Brakeman, [email protected]


(Manhattan, NY) New York Attorney General Letitia James’ independent investigation into alleged sexual harassment by Governor Cuomo from a growing number of women recognizes both the seriousness of these claims and the need to pull back the curtain on sexual harassment by powerful men and its victims. UAW Regions 9 and 9A applaud Attorney General James for the level of seriousness with which she is moving this investigation.  

“Women who come forward with claims of sexual harassment must always be heard and believed,” said Beverley Brakeman UAW Region 9A Director. “Those accused should also be afforded due process and the right to a fair and transparent investigation”.  

“We call on Governor Cuomo to step aside while the investigation is being conducted. Should the allegations be proven true, he should step down – no questions asked”, she continued, joined by UAW Region 9 Director Jeff Binz.

UAW Local 4100 Columbia Post-Doctoral Workers President Cora Bergantiños-Crespo agrees, “At the bargaining table we have fought tirelessly for real and enforceable recourse for victims of sexual harassment. One of the top reasons UAW members in higher education want to form a union is to achieve adequate protections against being sexually harassed at work where so many of us not only find our job, Visas and financial security threatened but our academic goals as well”.

Sexual harassment is an epidemic that targets all women, but if you are a Black woman, you are disproportionately more likely to be impacted by sexual harassment. According to Angie Murphy, a Black woman and UAW Region 9A’s Civil Rights Council Co-Chair, “Black women are disproportionately vulnerable due to the systemic and institutionally gendered racism and oppression we experience based upon our race and gender.” 

Bergantiños-Crespo and others from UAW Local 4100 are now walking a picket line in support of their co-workers at UAW Local 2110 Graduate Workers of Columbia fighting for the same protections in their first contract. 

UAW Regions 9 and 9A applaud the women who have come forward for their courage.   

“As a union, we are committed to use our power to fight for real recourse for all victims of workplace sexual harassment at the bargaining table and beyond,” UAW Region 9 Director Jeff Binz concluded.