Saturday, February 17, 2007

Danger At Work

Not hundreds, not thousands but;
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.




See

In Canada Work Kills

Work Sucks

Laundry Workers Fight Privatization




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6 comments:

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

So what you're saying is that workplace incidents are responsible for 17% of assault cases in Canada.

Now the average work week is 44 hours. 44/168 is in fact just over 26%, meaning that on an hourly basis assaults diminish while at work. If that's not exciting news enough, bear in mind that the assaulter is not to be left out of the equation. He assumably sleeps, at least 7 hours per day, meaning he only has 119 waking hours per week. That means that the average assailant/victim spends almost 37% of their time at work, and yet less than 1/5 assaults take place there. Ergo, work is actually one of the safest places one can wind up.

The majority -- about 70% -- of the violent workplace incidents were classified as physical assaults.

Care to post the definition of what "the agency" calls a physical assault? I notice you left out that Stats Can did the revealing, which was probably wise. People might remember such things like StatsCan using definitions of physical assaults that did not involve any physical contact (real or attempted), or definitions of sexual assault that include unwanted come-ons. I mean, Stats Can might brag about their invention of statistics to European statisitician conferences, but that doesn't mean the invented definitions won't go over like a lead zeppelin.

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.
Ha ha ha ha ha! You're kidding, right? If "reduction in the size of government" increases workplace violence, we should have the problem licked by 2009! Name one year government at any level has been "reduced" from its 1998 level.

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.
Ahh, so after "non-violent" events, violent events turn out to be the second most common. This is news?3

cumulatively it can become very serious, taking the form of sexual harassment, bullying or mobbing
I'm sure reclassifying office politics ("bullying", "mobbing") as violent assaults makes some NDP-voting bureaucrat in Hull cream his pants at the thought of new intrusive programs, but I'm not sure how much the average person should be up in arms that the government hasn't wasted time and money on solving this critical "problem".

The impact of the 1995 Neo-Con revolution in Canada
This is the longest revolution to take foot ever. And keeping with the ideals of your Marxist brothers, if there was such a revolution you would have owed it to yourself to commit suicide, given that Engels (was it Engels? I can never keep my reds straight) believed any successful revolution was a priori proof that those against it deserved their fall.

And thus the public sector and service workplace is just as unsafe as it was when miners needed canaries to go into the mines.
"Just as unsafe", eh? I'd rather have a canary than a 4-page "sexual harassment in the office" document any day.

eugene plawiuk said...

I see you have pulled your abacus out of your ass, but your work with figures still makes you an ass. The Stats Canada report stated that 57% of reported violent assaults were in the work place, not in public space.

As for the rest of your comments they are the puerile vitriolic of a sad little man.

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

If you're going to try and go toe-to-toe with a mathematician on the subject of figures, you'll lose every time. As you do in this case. The article says "57% of nonworkplace incidents ... were classified as physical assaults". (The study itself only mentions 57% as being the ratio of male victims reporting the assault to the police).

However, "57% of nonworkplace incidents ... were classified as physical assaults" is not the same thing as "57% of violent assaults were in the workplace", which of course only makes sense if outside the workplace violent assaults were practically nonexistant (at least we could close the women's shelters).

eugene plawiuk said...

Once again you and Canadian Conservative show your compassion is for numbers and figures, rather than for human beings and the consequences of ill informed actions, like the attempt to reduce public services.
The Klein Revolution of 1995 put folks out on the streets, closing much needed mental programs, privatizing social services, reducing nursing staff, etc.

The chickens come home to roost and all you care about is abstract figures.

So much for compassionate conservatism.

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Okay, that's more than a little unintentionally hilarious: you think you're throwing a figure back into my face, I run rings around you in interpreting the data, and now suddenly numbers aren't as important as human beings.

As for the Klein Revolution, can you produce a single eviction notice with Klein's name on it? Name a single social service that was privatized? I know all of these numbers less than 1 are causing difficulty, so perhaps we should start with 1 itself and just build up your mathematical toolkit from there.

eugene plawiuk said...

Let's see how about closing the Alberta Hospital for outpatient services, which put many seriously ill patients out on the street without community based services in place to help them.

Privatization of foster care services, which led to the current situation of another child being abused and killed.

Reductions in nursing and doctors quotas which now create a job crisis.

Privatization of laundry services, hence the link.

Reductions in staffing in all government departments between 1995-1998 except for Public Affairs, the Department of Propaganda for the Tories which got an increase.

etc. etc. etc.