Workers Win Right To Refuse Work When Threatened With Workplace Violence

April 20, 2009

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CAW Workers Win Right To Refuse Work When Threatened With Workplace Violence
CAW Workers Win Right To Refuse Work When Threatened With Workplace Violence
dated April 20, 2009

Toronto, Ontario
April 20, 2009

       At the Occupational Health Press Conference.

Peter Fonseca
Ontario Minister of Labour

       "Today in the Legislature, in a short time I will be introducing amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to address workplace violence and harassment. The Bill I'll be introducing today would, if passed, improve the occupational health and safety of workers by improving protections against workplace violence. These amendments also recognize that workplace harassment can escalate to workplace violence and needs to be dealt with at an early stage. The proposed legislation would also address domestic violence that intrudes its way into the workplace and it would allow workers to remove themselves from harmful situations if they have reason to believe that they are at risk or in immanent danger due to workplace violence."

Peggy Nash
Assistant to CAW National President

       "We're looking forward to seeing the details of the legislation but what this kind of protection does is it extends the regulatory power around Health and Safety to issues around stalking, workplace violence, psychological violence, that kind of thing so that we can deal with some of the very, very difficult issues between co-workers, or between workers and patients or clients, any situation where a worker feels that their health or safety is threatened because of violence. This will give them the power to refuse work."

Ken Lewenza
CAW National President

       "This legislation is a victory for several coalition partners, the entire labour movement, those quite frankly that see violence in the workplace as a human right issue verses a labour right issue. It really is about protecting those at work that are faced with violence. This is a great day and it really was as a result of the combined effort of a heck of a lot of people including the Dupont and Vincent family. They suffered the most. They lost family members and they have been out there advocating and they have sacrificed so much."

Julie White
CAW Dir. Women's Programs

       "It's not the end of the road. There will be lots of training, risk assessment that will need to be done in workplaces."

Sari Sairanen
CAW Dir. Health & Safety

       "After 13 long years; after the Laurie Dupont and Theresa Vince incidences that finally the government is recognizing that their citizens are being affected adversely in a workplace by something that's called violence. For workplaces that are non-unionized this is a step in the right direction. And it gives us momentum to be more vigorous as well in our collective bargaining on eliminating additional hazards."

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.

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