A new workplace harassment and violence prevention training program has been launched to benefit more than 10,000 workers of B.C.’s maritime sector, the Ministry of Labour announced in a Feb. 9 press release. (File photo)

A new workplace harassment and violence prevention training program has been launched to benefit more than 10,000 workers of B.C.’s maritime sector, the Ministry of Labour announced in a Feb. 9 press release. (File photo)

New workplace violence and harassment prevention training to benefit B.C. maritime sector

B.C. waterfront workers will benefit from training to support communities most at risk

A new workplace harassment and violence prevention training program has been launched to benefit more than 10,000 workers of B.C.’s maritime sector, the Ministry of Labour announced in a Feb. 9 press release.

The comprehensive training program which includes an emphasis on supporting populations most at risk of experiencing workplace harassment and violence, including LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous communities, was the result of BCMEA co-developing the program under a partnership with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada, and the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC).

The first-of-its-kind training on B.C.’s waterfront includes a significant focus on bystander education in support of culture transformation, alongside robust compliance-based policies and procedures.

The ‘Violence and Harassment Awareness, Management and Training for the BC Waterfront’ program is funded by BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) from $3.9 million to be received over a period of five years, starting in 2019 from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund.

“Violence and harassment have no place on the waterfront or in any of our members’ workplaces. Thanks to the Government of Canada and our partnership … our members and their employees will now have a critical tool to protect the health and safety of themselves, their families, and the community at large,” Mike Leonard, president and CEO of the BC Maritime Employers Association, said.

The program will bring employers, unions, and anti-violence experts together to provide training and education in support of safer, more respectful workplaces for everyone the media statement said.

“Drawing on decades of research and frontline expertise, EVA BC’s internationally recognized ‘Be More Than a Bystander’ program delivers a groundbreaking, culture-shifting approach to creating safe, respectful workplaces and communities. It is one of the foundational elements of the new BCMEA–ILWU–EVA BC training program.”

“A worker must be able to go to work without experiencing physical or mental distress in the workplace. We believe a workplace free of violence and harassment will increase the quality of life for our workers, including in their home life,” Rob Ashton, president of ILWU said.

K-J Millar | Journalist
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