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Trois-Rivir0065s, Tuesday, November 26, 2002 The occupational health and safety seminar organized by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Trois-Rivir0065s, under the theme of organizing and acting together as union members against organizational violence, came to a close today after two days of extremely enriching discussions.

Some 220 delegates from throughout Qub0065c were captivated by talks given by academics, physicians and militants on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and legal recognition of psychological injuries caused by organizational violence. Participants also had the opportunity to talk to these specialists about the best ways of preventing this type of violence or defending employees who are victims. Everyone has now returned to their respective local with the firm intention of increasing their efforts to prevent work overloads and acts of intimidation, harassment or any other form of psychological pressure toward CUPE members and workers in general.

This seminar has improved our militants understanding of this complicated phenomenon and its repercussions. The tool box they received will allow them to take action in their own environments to prevent psychological injuries or to ensure victims of organizational violence are compensated, said Raymond Leclerc, health and safety representative for CUPE and organizer of this meeting. Since psychological injuries caused by organizational violence are, alas, on the rise, and the CSST is still very hesitant to recognize this situation, it was time we held this meeting. We needed to bring things up to date to ensure our union action is even more effective, concluded Raymond Leclerc.

For CUPE’s National Health and Safety Branch, improving the members’ safety is a priority permanent program. CUPE considers that as long as workers have little or no control over occupational health and safety, there will be victims of occupational accidents and diseases. For this reason, CUPE offers all its locals a health and safety advisory service with extensive expertise and an entire range of information and practical tools to defend union members.

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