16 July 2010: Today European social partners including CESI celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their Multisectoral Guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work.

CESI joined the original signatories of the Guidelines in 2018, signing together with EPSU as part of the Trade Union Delegation TUNED within the European Social Dialogue Committee for Central Government Administrations, to provide its members with concrete proposals to address, mitigate and prevent third-party violence and its consequences at work.

CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “Violence at work is a recurrent problem that many of our trade union affiliates experience. This includes workers in central government administrations but extends to employees in other fields of the public sector, including police staff, teachers and health care personnel. The guidelines are an important step to equip our members with tools to address and, ideally, prevent violence against them in the first place.”

As underlined in today’s joint statement of the social partners, the Guidelines are a crucial instrument to support workers’ right to a safe and healthy workplace, in line with the EU’s Framework Directive on occupational safety and health (OSH) the European Pillar of Social Rights, on a global level, the recently adopted ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment.

The guidelines are still very much needed: despite a progressive increase of awareness and procedures available against violence and harassment at work, an increase of third-party violence and harassment at work has been reported in several sectors and the EU Member States and a lack of reporting and data is still to deplore, meaning that dark figures may likely be even higher than expected. As an important tool to counter this, these Guidelines should, therefore, be further spread and promoted at EU and especially at the national level, thus reaching the workers on the ground – the real or potential victims of aggressive behaviour, be it verbal, physical or psychological.

This is why it is crucial for social partners at EU and national level to join forces to keep this topic high on the agenda, not least against the background of the current Covid-19 crisis, which many professionals have gone through as praised by society as “heroes” while it has happened that they were attacked, even violently, as “virus spreaders” by some at the same time.

Given the importance of the violence at work, CESI has also been carrying out, throughout the last and this current year, a project to prevent and tackle third-party violence against public sector workers. This gave birth to an EU-wide awareness-raising campaign on third-party violence and the role of trade-unions in preventing violence and harassment at work, as well as accompanying workers as victims of aggressive behaviour. CESI’s campaign, entitled “Independent trade-unions gather for zero tolerance against violence. Let’s end third-party violence at work.” will be launched at EU and national level later this year.

Project additional information