On the eve of UNI Global Union Congress, a new report on Combatting Third-Party Violence and Harassment in Commerce explores best practices for better protection of workers and shows the key roles unions can play for improved health and safety at work.
The report was released as a part of the “There Is No Store for Violence and Harassment in Commerce” project of UNI Commerce with the support of Union to Union and UNI’s Swedish affiliates, Handels and Union.
Recent studies and surveys covered in the report show that while some forms of violence and harassment have decreased since a peak during the pandemic, most commerce workers are still suffering from high and unacceptable levels of abuse and violence at work.
The second part of the report highlights the essential role of governments to protect commerce workers and calls for ratification of ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment at Work and provides detailed information on the recent legislation and government initiatives introduced in Scotland, Australia, Japan, the USA, Sweden, England, and Wales.
The third part focuses on varied global and national responses including the renewed global agreement between Carrefour and UNI, the joint guidelines in Finland, the industry statement in Australia and different examples of sector and company level collective agreements that equip commerce workers with better protections from Finland, Italy, Sweden, the USA, Peru and Korea.
Providing information on valuable guidelines, reports and toolkits, the fourth part lists four key principles that should guide actions taken at the workplace level followed by a list of 30 key actions and measures based on real life best practices and classified in five main categories of prevention, intervention, reporting, remediation and follow-up & feedback.
The final part is all about union campaigns and actions that change the landscape for commerce workers including SDA’s “No One Deserves a Serve Campaign”, UA Zensen’s “Campaign Against Unreasonable Complaints”, USDAW’s “Freedom from Fear Campaign” and other initiatives from countries all around the world including Germany, Turkey, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Mozambique, Croatia, South Africa, Hungary, Chile, and Italy.
The report concludes with UNI Commerce’s commitment to work with its affiliates to stop violence and harassment in commerce and refers to the first-ever webpage dedicated to the issue which will be regularly updated to keep exchange of information and best-practices among commerce unions.
“We are proud of our affiliates who are fighting tooth and nail to rid the world of commerce from violence, abuse and harassment,” said Mathias Bolton, Head of UNI Commerce. “This report shows the huge difference we can make together for better protection of workers.”
“Third-party violence and harassment is simply unacceptable at any level. Not only is it commoplance in commerce but it is also prevalent in many other UNI sectors including ICTS, gaming, care, sports and media,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI. “This report is a valuable tool for unions to build strategies to stamp out violence in the workplace so commerce workers can be safe at work and free from fear.”
UNI’s 6th World Congress will address violence at work and other issues in a session on Rising Together for Health and Safety.
Download the report in English, French and Spanish, as well as Executive Summaries in ten different languages.