Violence a top issue in all our
May Day is when workers all over the world mark our progress
in the struggle for fairness and justice.
“Mayday” also means something else: It is a universal call
to an emergency. And there is truly an emergency in the workplace today:
Workers are increasingly victimized by bullying, threats,
harassment, and by physical assaults on the job. This is becoming the top
issue for workers in social services, health care, corrections, education
and in liquor stores, just to name a few.
Violence can be perpetrated by a client or patient, by a
boss, or even by a co-worker. Shift work, precarious work, understaffing and
underfunding all make workers more vulnerable.
We need changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to
allow work refusals when there is a hazard of violence, to require
investigations, and make employers responsible to take action.
We are also addressing this through bargaining, education,
political lobbying, enforcement, and, where need be, through workers taking
Let’s keep working together, to stop the violence in our
Warren (Smokey) Thomas