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.
This applies to the graphical and packaging sector, which unfortunately is not shielded from different forms of abuse that both male and female workers face, according to discussions at the workshop on workplace violence and harassment. Considered to be working in a male-dominated environment, women workers in the sector also reported patterns of gender-based discrimination.
Trade unionists from across Europe’s Graphical & Packaging sector came together for a two-day workshop. They contributed to the formulation of cross-sector recommendations to end violence and harassment in the world of work and adopted. The UNI Europa Graphical & Packaging also adopted a Declaration against Violence, Harassment and Discrimination in the World of Work.
Participants had the opportunity to share their experiences and learn more about initiatives at the European and global levels aiming to put a definitive end to workplace violence and harassment as well as to exchange the 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.
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 environment in the graphical and packaging sector. Workplace health and safety must include strong protection against discrimination, violence and harassment – and not only the rules but also implementation and monitoring mechanisms.
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Statistics can play an important role in assessing how many people are concerned. One thing is clear: action is needed to eliminate violence and harassment now. pic.twitter.com/0vFZ3lm0wE
— UNI Europa (@UNI_Europa) March 15, 2023
“We need to conduct studies to collect data on violence at work in the sector to develop proper measures. But unfortunately, there is a lack of political will on behalf of employers” – said Joacquina Rodriguez – CCOO, UNI Graphical President.
Nearly four years since its adoption, only 25 countries around the world – 7 of these in Europe – have ratified the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190. Many others are in the process of or considering following suit. On 25 June 2021, the Convention entered into force and ILO constituents and other relevant actors are turning to the ILO in search of guidance on how to give practical effect to the new instruments.
In 2021, the global trade union movement launched a toolkit to this aim and to respond to this demand by clarifying the definitions, core principles and measures enshrined in Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206. It outlines the scope of the instruments and sheds light on how member states have recently advanced in the prevention and elimination of work-related violence and harassment by providing a rich selection of examples of national laws, regulations, policies and other measures.
“Violence can be invisible, in language, jokes and omnipresent in media, at work. We are all responsible to end to violence. We should include the ILO Convention 190 in collective bargaining, now! We don’t need to wait for its ratification”– said Veronica Fernandez Mendez, UNI Equal Opportunities Head of department.
“In consultation with trade unions, employers should take appropriate measures to prevent and address mental health risks including violence and harassment at work, in order to provide a safe and healthy working environment.” –said Amel Selma Djemail, UNI Europa Equal Opportunities Director.
“Sexist approaches, violence and harassment behaviors are included in social codes, habits, and behaviors and are normalised. Having a male-dominated sector should not be an excuse not to protect workers from abuses. Measures and tools should be developed to guarantee the protection of female workers in the industry” – Ezgi Aslan, Union Specialist Basın-İş Sendikası
“In Switzerland, we negotiated a CBA with employers on equal pay 4 equal work which includes mandatory monitoring of the salaries with a gender perspective. We need to continue to raise awareness and develop tools such as this one to reach gender equality at work” – Angelo Zanetti, Syndicom
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 end violence and harassment at work and tackle domestic violence, as – with rising remote work – the home has become the new workplace.
In order to achieve this goal, UNI Europa will:
More information on the project and the presentations made in the graphical and packaging sector workshop can be found here.
For more information please contact: