CUPE in P.E.I. working to end domestic violence's impact on workplace

The Canadian Union of Public Employees on P.E.I. now has concrete steps it can take when domestic violence impacts the workplace.

Canadian Labour Congress recently released a survey report on how violence at home spills over into work

The Canadian Labour Congress recently released a report on its survey on the impact of domestic violence on the workplace. (CBC)

The Canadian Union of Public Employees on P.E.I. now has concrete steps it can take when domestic violence impacts the workplace.

On Nov. 27, the Canadian Labour Congress released the results of its first-ever nationwide survey on the impact of domestic violence on the workplace. The preliminary report is called, Can Work Be Safe When Home Isn't?

In it, the labour congress outlines concrete actions the labour movement can make such as amending legislation to provide flexible working arrangements and paid domestic violence leave, says Lori MacKay, president of CUPE P.E.I..

Workplaces are involved in domestic violence situations.- Lori MacKay, CUPE

"We wish that domestic violence was a thing of the past and violence against women in general was a thing of the past. Unfortunately it's not," said MacKay.

"So what can we do now? And this is kind of, to me, it's a breath of fresh air to actually have tangible items that we can work towards … So that part's really good."

CUPE's Lori MacKay says the union now has concrete actions it can take when the effects of domestic violence are felt in the workplace. (CBC)

More than 8,400 Canadians responded to the survey, conducted by the labour congress in partnership with researchers at the University of Western Ontario.

One third of respondents said they had experienced domestic violence. Half of those faced some form of violence at or near work, such as harassing emails, calls and texts, or stalking and physical violence.

"It's really affected folks and it still does affect workers at the workplace. Often times with harassing phone calls. Often you know co-workers are involved in what's happening with somebody that's in a situation like this, so it is something that happens at our workplaces and workplaces are involved in domestic violence situations," said MacKay.

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