My message to everyone who reads this message is “Spread the word”. Our membership is not huge but the number of cases that we manage and that meet the criteria is shocking.
People suffering abuse through the day go home at night incredibly stressed and they lose precious family time because their quality of life is compromised by a situation that they feel is out of their control. Some people attempt to avoid confrontation through sick leave but eventually they return or they lose their jobs and – worse yet – the situation hasn’t changed one iota. Some may think that it’s not a reasonable response, but it is very difficult to reason with fear.
Consultations with the union are 100% confidential and nothing happens unless you say it needs to happen.
Most remedies do not involve grievances.
At least learn what your options are. You may be surprised.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
What is workplace violence?
Most people think of violence as a physical assault. However, workplace violence is a much broader problem. It is any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment. Workplace violence includes:
- Threatening behaviour – such as shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects.
- Verbal or written threats – any expression of an intent to inflict harm.
- Harassment – any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms or verbally abuses a person and that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying, or other inappropriate activities.
- Verbal abuse – swearing, insults or condescending language.
- Physical attacks – hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking.
Rumors, swearing, verbal abuse, pranks, arguments, property damage, vandalism, sabotage, pushing, theft, physical assaults, psychological trauma, anger-related incidents, rape, arson and murder are all examples of workplace violence.
Workplace violence is not limited to incidents that occur within a traditional workplace. Work-related violence can occur at off-site business-related functions (conferences, trade shows), at social events related to work, in clients’ homes or away from work but resulting from work (a threatening telephone call to your home from a client).
Some of the side effects in the workplace of bullying and harassment:
- Stress, anxiety or sleep disturbance;
- Panic attacks or impaired ability to make decisions;
- Incapacity to work, concentration problems, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem or reduced output and performance;
- Depression or a sense of isolation;
- Physical injury;
- Reduced quality of home and family life;
- There are more sick days;
- Increased staff turnover
- Dysfunctional relationships
- Reduced efficiency and productivity
- Less motivation and enthusiasm to perform work well
- Poor morale, erosion of employee loyalty and commitment;
- Less workplace support,
- Increased costs associated with recruitment and training;
- Increased workers’ compensation claims;
- Increased indirect costs such as management time, engaging mediators or counsellors;
- Adverse publicity and poor public image.