Worker safety remains a political issue

WorkSafeBC implements political agenda of corporate-driven government

Re: Bully tell us how to behave (Our View, Oct. 9)

I take exception to your characterization of WorkSafeBC as “bullies.”

Contrary to your assertion, this harassment policy has been subjected to a long policy consultation in which employers had ample opportunity to voice their concerns.

Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a serious problem: it causes stress, sickness, loss of productivity and it is an insult to human dignity. If bullying is not tolerated in schools, why should it be tolerated in the workplace?

Voluntary compliance by irresponsible employers will not work. It never has and it never will. As a member of a workplace safety committee, I’m cognizant of the many shortcomings that WorkSafeBC carries within its diverse operations; however, we need to examine the context in which WorkSafeBC operates.

When the Liberal government took power in 2001 it introduced draconian measures that severely curtailed and weakened the role of WorkSafeBC.

In this political context, WorkSafeBC is merely implementing the political agenda dictated by a corporate-driven government that we elected.

Historically, the creation of safety agencies and its accompanying safety legislation were not “given” to working people: it took blood, sweat and tears from organized labour to achieve a certain level of protection for all workers.

Governments and employers have always been bitterly opposed to enact anything that could be considered an obstacle to profits.

Safety is political and only through active, informed and organized involvement can workers secure a better future.

As working people we need to reflect and ask ourselves: would the average worker and its family be better off without the protection of safety regulations and safety agencies?

Carlos Flores

Saanich