An historic international agreement by unions, employers and governments was forged last week in Geneva at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with a new international Convention passed to eliminate violence and harassment at work. The passing of this ILO Convention demonstrates that violence and harassment for working people is an international issue and needs international action.
“Working people must be safe at work. More action is needed by employers to ensure that everyone is able to work in safe environments which are free from violence and harassment. Just last week another security guard working in one of our public hospitals was assaulted at work,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.
“This new international Convention requires governments to ensure that there are adequate protections for all working people such as training, staffing alert systems and workplace policies. Critically, the Convention covers all workers, including contractors.”
“New Zealand played a strong role in the development and passing of this Convention. I’m enormously proud of the work by New Zealand union representatives, on behalf of working people, who have done so much and were active for more than two years in ensuring this Convention was passed. We also worked hard with the New Zealand Government who voted in favour of the Convention.”
“International agreements are vitally important in ensuring that working people are protected in their own country but also that international law exists which provides further protection.”
“The next step is getting our own Government to ratify this Convention and checking the adequacy of our own national laws and policies to ensure working people are able to work free from violence and harassment. The Convention is a great step forward in the process but there is now more work to do in New Zealand,” Wagstaff said.