Hundreds of thousands of Canadians assaulted at work
Work not only kills it injures. And not a word about this crime wave in the workplace from the Law & Order government in Ottawa.
In a report released Friday, the agency said 17% of all self-reported incidents of violent victimization that year, including sexual assault, robbery and physical assault, occurred at the person’s place of work. That figure represents over 356,000 violent workplace incidents in Canada's 10 provinces. And those were only the incidents that were reported.
Don't expect the Law and Order Conservatives to do anything about violence in the workplace because that would interfere in the market place.
As Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day reminded us when he was Labour Minister in Alberta and unions called for Working Alone legislation after workers were assaulted on the job. He said there was nothing he would do about bringing in Working Alone legislation. Instead he cut jobs in his department.
It took the murder of a young woman working alone in Calgary to actually get the ruling PC's in Alberta to take the issue seriously. But by then Stock was leading the New Canadian Alliance Party.
Of course Public Safety in Canada means keeping us safe from foreign terrorists not terror on the job. Especially when most of these assaults were on public sector workers, that is government workers.
The majority -- about 70% -- of the violent workplace incidents were classified as physical assaults. That's more than the 57% of non-workplace incidents that were classified as physical assaults. The three offences were much more common in the social assistance and health care services sectors, the study found. One-third of all workplace violent incidents involved a victim who was working in those types of jobs. A high proportion also occurred in accommodation or food services, retail or wholesale trade and educational services sectors.
As the ILO reported as far back as 1998 the reason for the increasing assaults in the work place is the decrease in workers on the job the privatization of public services and the consequences of the reduction in the size of government. Because the bureaucracy has not declined only front line services.
In situations of structural change and transition, when the main objective is to retain employment and income, safety and health issues are often relegated to second place. However, it is these very situations which generate anxieties, frustration and organizational difficulties, which in turn can lead to violence. In practice, violence at the workplace may include a wide range of behaviour, often of an ongoing and overlapping nature. While attention has traditionally been focused on physical violence, in more recent years evidence has been emerging of the impact and harm caused by non-physical violence which, although often referred to as psychological, can also have physical repercussions for the victim.
A survey by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) revealed that almost 70 per cent of respondents considered verbal aggression to be the leading form of violence, citing physical violence as the next most frequent form. Growing attention is also being paid to perpetuated violence involving repeated behaviour. In itself this type of violence may appear to be relatively minor, but cumulatively it can become very serious, taking the form of sexual harassment, bullying or mobbing. It is this type of behaviour which can have the most negative impact on human resource development at the workplace.The impact of the 1995 Neo-Con revolution in Canada, the so called "Reinventing Government", when Stockwell Day was Labour Minister in Alberta and Paul Martin was Finance Minister, and both the provinces and Federal Government cut funding and outsourced public sector jobs, is still with us.
And thus the public sector and service workplace is just as unsafe as it was when miners needed canaries to go into the mines. Which is why we mourn the loss of life and the injuries of class on April 28 each year.
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