Union Resources

Domestic violence and abuse: a trade union issue 
At first sight, domestic abuse seems to be a personal issue, concerned with people’s private lives and nothing to do with trade unionism. But it is so widespread that without doubt there are many UNISON members who are affected, and whose lives and work are overshadowed by it. The effects of domestic abuse, like those of harassment in the workplace, can be far-reaching. Home and work issues cannot always be neatly separated, especially for a woman. UNISON is committed to achieving equality in our workplaces, in our union and across society.

ILO Report: Addressing Occupational Violence: An overview of conceptual and policy considerations viewed through a gender lens
This report is not about violence against women, but rather about violence against workers, both men and women; however, wherever possible a gendered analysis of the results was retained so as to ensure that interventions that could be informed by this report are gender sensitive, designed to meet the sometimes similar, sometimes distinct, needs of male and female workers. The report is in two parts, the first conceptualizing workplace violence through a gender lens, the second examining regulatory and other normative interventions to address workplace violence.

ILO Report on Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the World of Work. Trade Union Perspectives and Action
This report provides a wealth of evidence of how trade unions can contribute to making real and positive changes in the workplace to protect workers, and particularly women workers, from violence and harassment. Through collective agreements, workplace policies and negotiations, campaigns and awareness-raising, trade unions have taken constructive steps to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work, often challenging institutional and structural forms of discrimination against workers.

Australian Counci of Trade Unions Model Clause on Family and Domestic Violence
Emplyers recognise that employees sometimes face situations of violence or abuse in their personal life that may affect their attendance or performance at work. Employers are committed to providing support to staff that experience family and domestic violence. Understanding the traumatic nature of family and domestic violence will help the employer support their employee if they have difficulties performing tasks at work.

Solidarity Centre, Futures Without Violence & AFL-CIO Report on Ending Gender-Based Violence In the World of Work In the United States
Sex and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women in the world of work is an epidemic that requires a systemic response. The purpose of this report is to clearly define GBV, describe its prevalence and explain the circumstances that allow it to persist. The report concludes with recommendations to effectively prevent and address GBV in the workplace.

Canadian Labour Congress Briefing Note to Follow-up Domestic Violence at Work Survey
The results of our survey on Domestic Violence and the Workplace, released in November 2014, have received a good deal of interest from inside and outside the labour movement. We see the results as the start of a conversation—one that we need to have within our movement, with employers and with governments. There is a huge demand for a pathway to move forward, to bring concrete change in three key areas: workplace supports, member education and legislation.

French Version

Canadian Labour Congress Workshop: Domestic Violence at Work: A Union Concern
Unions need to challenge the view that domestic violence is a private matter and create a climate where victims can feel safe to disclose their situation to their union or employer, and where they can get the support they need and keep safe at work.

CUPE Bargaining for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace
This document is for local union officers, bargaining committee members and other activists who want to prevent domestic violence at work and support members who face domestic violence. It covers the definition of domestic violence and how it’s a workplace issue; how the union can negotiate protections regarding domestic violence related to the workplace; examples of collective agreement language and a checklist for workplace policy and collective agreement language.

French Version

Trade Union Congress Domestic Violence: A Guide for the Workplace
The more we learn about domestic violence the clearer it becomes that its impact on people’s lives will affect their performance in the wo rkplace. Trade unions and employers need to understand this and be ready to deal with such problems as they arise. That is why the TUC has produced this guide to give trade union reps and employers the information they need to deal with the effect of domestic violence in the workplace.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Domestic Violence: What Unions Can Do
Domestic violence fits into the agenda of unions as a health and safety issue, a workplace issue, a discrimination issue, a family issue — and as a human rights issue. Like other struggles for health, safety and human dignity, domestic violence affects the lives of untold numbers of working people in the United States. Domestic violence is emotionally disruptive, dangerous and, at worst, it can claim the lives of workers. Union interest in this issue grows out of a strong tradition of fighting for social and economic justice.

UniGlobal Resources

a.     Violence Is at Work. We Can Stop It Flyer

b.     Are you Man Enough Flyers (post series)

Flyer 1

Flyer 2

Flyer 3

Flyer 4

c.     Violence Is at Work. We Can Stop It Discussion Guide
The guide is made up of a series of questions that make reflection and discussion about work violence smoother by using concepts and examples that appear in the video. The aim is to discuss and reflect on the necessary elements for work violence to exist, and detect ways in which organizations provoke its presence.

d.     Policies for UNI Affiliated Unions
Domestic violence affects women in all societies of the world, regardless of age or social status, but it has its most harmful effects on ethnic minorities, migrants and the poor, on account of existing social inequalities. Men can also be victims. It is the duty of society to fight and create tools to eradicate it. The lack, or total lack, of commitment to portect women by nation states, questions the stability of their democracies as well as the credibility of nations and the social responsibilities of corporations. 

e.     Keeping You and Your Job Safe. Information for Workers Experiencing Domestic Violence
Work may be where you feel safe and respected and what is happening at home has no impact on your performance or safety - it is a private matter. But domestic violence can have an impact on you at work. It can make it hard to perform your duties and can also be a workplace safety risk.

European Trade Union Confederation Safe at Home, Safe at Work Report
Trade union strategies to prevent, manage and eliminate work-place harassment and violence against women. This report – produced as part of the ‘Safe at Home, Safe at Work’ Project of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) – draws together evidence collected from interviews carried out as part of 11 detailed country case studies of European-level developments on gender-based violence and harassment at work, including domestic violence at work.

Unifor Lobbying Guide: Workers Facing Domestic Violence
Unifor has been a trailblazer in putting practical supports in place for women in abusive relationships. We bargained our first set of workplace Women’s Advocates in 1993. We now have over 350 Women’s Advocates across the country in all sectors of the economy. These specially-trained Advocates assist women in finding community resources as well as assist in safety planning and risk assessment in the workplace.

SDA Domestic Violence Guide
Guide for SDA Officials responding to members experiencing domestic/family violence.

Domestic violence at the workplace: A bargaining guide This document is for local union officers, bargaining committee members and other activists who want to prevent domestic violence at work and support members who face domestic violence.  It covers the definition of domestic violence and how it’s a workplace issue; how the union can negotiate protections regarding domestic violence related to the workplace; examples of collective agreement language; a checklist for workplace policy and collective agreement language.  Click here to view the Guide

La violence conjugale dans le milieu de travail : Un guide pour la négociation Ce document s’adresse aux responsables de sections locales, aux membres de comités de négociation et à tous les militants qui veulent prévenir la violence conjugale au travail et venir en aide aux membres qui en sont victimes.  Dans ce document vous trouverez : la définition de la violence conjugale et les raisons pour lesquelles il s’agit d’un enjeu dans le milieu de travail, les protections que le syndicat peut négocier en matière de violence conjugale liée au milieu de travail, des exemples de clauses de convention collective, un aide-mémoire pour élaborer des politiques en milieu de travail et des clauses de convention collective.  Téléchargez le guide.

Make It Our Business has developed guidelines designed to help workplaces develop effective policies, programs and practices.  They were developed in consultation with experts in this field including security experts, experts on the problem of domestic violence, employers, victim-survivors, workers, and union representatives. The guidelines are specifically focused on Ontario workplaces, but much of the information is adaptable for other contexts.  Click here to see the Guidelines.