October 1st, 2017

Workplace Psychological Harassment Must Be Addressed

No one likes a bully. Whether on the playground, in your social life or at your workplace, dealing with a bully can have a huge impact on your life.

Feeling dread when you have to go to work can be all consuming and cause serious mental health issues.

Now a woman from Calgary is taking her experience to the House of Commons.

Download Our Guide On How To Know If Your Workplace Needs A Union!

Wendy Gaucher-Bigcharles has started a federal petition with the hopes of changes to the Canadian Labour Code (CLC). She wants it to include a legal definition of what exactly workplace psychological harassment is.

“Fundamentally there is no protection for somebody who experiences a campaign of psychological violence—over a period of time, repeated attacks of discrimination, harassment, and bullying,” she said in an interview with Metro News.

She said she experienced workplace psychological violence that included ‘acts of isolation, exclusion, alienation, intimidation, retaliation, denied access to processes and information, verbal and non-verbal insults and innuendo.’

This can be especially hard to deal with when the bully is a person in a position of power, like a manager or supervisor. They may use the excuse that this type of management style is boosting productivity or pushing an employee to work a little harder.

Having a union on your side can help.

Download Our Guide On How To Know If Your Workplace Needs A Union!

When you are part of a union, you can reach out to a Shop Steward or Business Agent you feel comfortable sharing the issue with. They can also help you take care of your mental health, which can be greatly effected by bullying. Teamsters 362 has a full list of resources on our website that you can find here.

If you are not yet a part of a union, calling one and finding out what your rights are is also an action you could take.

Trade unions are there to stand up for all of your rights as a worker and ensure that you are working in a safe and healthy work environment –  that definitely includes workplace bullying.

5 Responses

  1. Pam McCaughey says:

    Even wth a strong union I did not receive the protection I should have from my toxic workplace and bullies. This was 1992 and harassment and bullying was being shoved under the carpet by both management and the union. I hope things are different today!

  2. Leila Nulty says:

    It is not that simple…I was a member of a union (Teachers’) my union reps really didn’t understand the issue…neither did HR…after a year and a half of this behaviour (and 14 pages of details) I quit – it was the BEST thing I could do for myself. Both of my bullies kept their job, one even got a promotion.
    Despite having a policy about ‘work place psychological harassment’ there was no way to implement this policy nor commitment to protecting the target.

  3. pat dimmons says:

    i could be the poster child. Last place i worked i was harassed, my liife was theeatened, my car vandaized, it was by supervisor enablibg a aaff tat i oversaw her work, ither shift staff etc..
    I had no uion to turn to, and when i reported it, i was blamed for reporting it.
    So best of luck, if you are successul in canada mayve the usa can learn a lesson

  4. Phyllis Dean says:

    There is no excuse for this kind of nonsense in the workplace. Any boss who thinks this increases productivity must have flunked every management course they’ve ever taken. Bullying and harassment can destroy a workplace. It ruins morale, decreases productivity and cause irreparable harm to people’s lives.

    Unfortunately, even in a union environment this can occur. In my experience my supervisor gave the culprits a cursory reprimand, but told me it was my own fault I was being treated poorly. Fortunately, she was moved to another site and the abusive staff members retired. I’ve never enjoyed someone else’s retirement in my life.

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