The Government of Canada became the 25th country to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190, or C190, which is a framework of global standards aimed at eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work. This is an important milestone in our union’s mission to create workplaces and communities free from violence, harassment, and discrimination.
Unifor has advocated for the federal government to ratify this framework since it was adopted by the ILO in June 2019. Several sector leaders within Unifor spoke publicly and to government officials about how adopting the framework could lead to much-needed changes in their work environment.
Harassment and violence aren’t exclusive to physical workplaces. In a 2021 IPSOS poll, 70% of Canadian media workers said they experienced online harassment in the previous year, with 73% feeling the attacks were becoming more frequent.
In health care, front-line workers have reported an alarming increase in physical confrontations with patients and residents. Similar increases in violence and harassment are reported by transit workers, call centre workers, and so many other workers in virtually every sector.
At Unifor’s 4th Constitutional Convention in August 2022, Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan promised action on ILO C190.
We are thankful for the tireless commitment of members, local union activists, and leaders for speaking loudly and clearly about the need for safer work. Our union will continue to advocate for meaningful changes that are grounded in equity and fortified by institutional and structural transformation. We know that real change will be achieved through the application of these global standards and we are committed to continuing our advocacy to ensure full implementation.
Unifor supports the efforts of unions across the globe who are pushing their own governments to ratify ILO C190. Worker safety begins with solidarity, and together, we can make the world a safer place for all.
Photo: ILO 2023