Europe’s gaming workers call for an end to workplace violence and harassment

Europe’s gaming workers call for an end to workplace violence and harassment

To be able to work safely and in dignity, free from violence and harassment of any kind, is a fundamental human right which no worker must be denied. Casinos, betting shops and other gaming establishments have particularly high rates of harassment at work. 

Over the course of a two-day workshop, trade unionists from across Europe’s gaming sector came together. They shared their experiences and learned about initiatives at the European and global levels aiming to put an end to workplace violence and harassment. They also exchanged on anti-harassment and violence prevention policies in different countries and companies and to further discuss joint actions to eliminate negative practices by strengthening social dialogue and implementing appropriate preventive mechanisms.

“Violence and harassment in the world of work are threats to the dignity, health, and wellbeing of everyone” – said Pilar Rato, UNI Europa Gaming President and UNI Europa 1st Vice-President.

It has been almost 3 years since the ILO adopted, in June 2019, its Convention 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and yet, to date, only 19 countries around the world have ratified it – and only 6 of these in Europe.

“Whether it happens in the workplace or not, being subjected to violence and harassment will invariably have an impact on a worker’s performance and productivity. Supporting the victim whilst ensuring due process must be part of an employer’s duty of care. Trade unions must adopt structures and synergies to promote the ratification and implementation of ILO C190,” said Veronica Fernandez Mendez, UNI Equal Opportunities Head of department.



Collective bargaining can play a key role in preventing and eliminating violence and harassment at work, including mitigating impacts of domestic violence. It can ensure that all workers, in all situations, are protected, and that measures to address violence and harassment take into account gender inequality and discrimination. The current situation is unacceptable, especially when 1 in 3 women will be a victim of violence in her lifetime, said Amel Selma Djemail, UNI Europa Equal Opportunities Director.

The workshop ended with a brainstorming on what should be included in the cross-sector guidelines which will be developed throughout the course of the project and presented at its final conference next year. Key points that came out of the discussions were that we need a stronger response from trade unions and joint actions and commitment from the employers to achieve violence- and harassment-free environments in casinos, betting shops and other gaming establishments. Workplace health and safety must include strong protection against discrimination, violence and harassment – and not only the rules but also implementation and monitoring mechanisms. The participants including the employers decided to urgently issue a joint statement to show the common desire to fight against this scourge which is workplace violence.

“Many Europe’s gaming sector employees are women and they do not feel safe coming to work. UNI Gaming vision is zero tolerance to any kind of violence and harassment at workplace. We call on companies for joint actions to ensure safety for all,” Giedre Lelyte, Head of UNI Gaming.

Inequality between women and men persists in the world of work in many forms, from career prospects and development opportunities to various terms and conditions. The aim of this UNI Europa Equal Opportunities cross-sector project is to contribute to ending violence and harassment at work and tackle domestic violence, as – with rising remote work – the home has become the new workplace.

Through this project, UNI Europa intends to: 

  • continue to campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 190 and Recommendation 260; 
  • train and inform about the tools and mechanisms available to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work; 
  • encourage affiliates and employer organisations to use collective bargaining as a tool to reach these objectives; 
  • address the gender pay and pensions gap in order to tackle the issue of economic violence; 
  • discuss the content of the draft EU Pay Transparency Directive; 
  • encourage active participation in campaigns, activities, marches, and protests; 
  • combat all forms of social regression; 
  • support a multifaceted, joint social partner strategy, including the exchange of best practices to tackle exclusion and discrimination in the workplace as well as the development of participatory workplace cultures where inclusion and diversity are a priority; 
  • and develop Cross-sectoral EU guidelines for services workers on the prevention of violence and harassment at work.

More information on the project and the presentations made in the gaming sector workshop can be found here.

For more information please contact: Amel Selma Djemail or Giedre Lelyte.

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