Date: 25 April 2008
UNISON calls for cuts in violence at work on International Workers
UNISON - Scotland's public service union - today called on employers
and government to begin to co-ordinate attempts to tackle the increasing
levels of violent attacks against public service workers in Scotland,
as part of its contribution to the commemoration of International
Workers Memorial Day (IWMD).
The union said that its branches would be supporting events across
Scotland organised today to remember those who have died due to
accidents at work, and they joined the calls for recognition of
IWMD as a national day of remembrance as a step to get employers
to properly accept their responsibilities to stop work-related deaths.
Scott Donohoe, Convenor of UNISON's Scottish Health & Safety Committee,
said "Drink-driving and domestic abuse are no longer regarded as
acceptable, yet work-related deaths are still regarded as more acceptable
than any other violent crime. Injuries and accidents cause major
problems for workers, and lost work days, yet the number of violent
attacks on local council and health service staff increases to over
"Our branches and activists will be supporting the many events
organised across Scotland to both remember those who have died and
campaign for a change to the culture where employers feel they can
avoid responsibility for their workers' safety."
The union will have activists and officers attending events at
Greenock, Bathgate, Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy, Glasgow, Bonnyrigg and
Coatbridge (details of each on the unison website - www.unison-scotland.org.uk/safety/wmd.html).
They are donating to memorials that are to be established in Summerlee,
North Lanarkshire, and Gorebridge, Midlothian.
Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser Policy said "UNISON along
with the STUC welcomes occupational health as the theme of this
years remembrance day. We have campaigned hard to ensure that publicly
provided NHS occupational health facilities are properly resourced,
and fit to deliver the support that can help people to remain in
work, and return to work, after attacks, accidents and health problems."
For Further Information Please Contact: Scott Donohoe (Scottish
Health & Safety Convenor) 07866 952 765(m) Dave Watson (Scottish
Organiser - Policy) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)