Customer-Initiated Aggression and Violence
The BCFMWU acknowledges that increased passenger volumes and possibly longer wait times for sailings can result in encounters with difficult people, some of whom may become aggressive or violent, leaving you feeling threatened and vulnerable.
The BCFMWU recognizes that the occupational health and safety of our membership is of vital importance and should be treated as a priority. We promote worker safety and continuously advocate for improvements in safety cultures and practices across all points of assembly through meetings and discussions with Senior Occupational Health and Safety Committee members, and through SailSafe.
Violence can happen at any work place and can have a serious impact on employees, their families, and the way employers do business. Violence and Aggression are workplace safety hazards which may cause physical and psychological injury or harm. Unfortunately, violence against workers is an under-reported, pervasive and persistent problem across many industries. To that end, we strongly believe workplace violence is NOT part of the job, must NOT be tolerated, and MUST be reported.
Under the Collective Agreement, your employer is responsible for ensuring all reasonable measures are provided for the safety and occupational health of employees, and for taking positive steps to safeguard employees from verbal, psychological and/or physical abuse – taking appropriate action, providing training, and posting information bulletins and notices in conspicuous places.
If you are on the receiving end of aggression or violence you must tell your supervisor who is responsible for notifying the Operational Security Centre (OSC). If needed, seek first aid or visit your personal physician for treatment or referral. Your employer is responsible for getting you any necessary first aid and transporting you to a medical facility. File an ALERT. The ALERT establishes an official record of a worker safety incident which is necessary to ensure needed investigations occur and with the appropriate corrective and preventative measures put in place. It is both your right and obligation to report and to file an ALERT. It is your right to file a worker injury claim report with WorksafeBC, whether or not you missed work. You may also need to contact local police and file a report.
Your personal safety and security at the workplace is more important than expectations for enhancing the customer experience. It is widely recognized that the more an individual’s aggression is rewarded, the more likely that person is going to be aggressive in the future. There should be zero tolerance for abuse of workers.
If you would like to speak with someone about an aggressive or violent interaction with customers or understanding reporting requirements or the rights or considerations that may be available to you, call the Union office and ask to speak with a Labour Relations Officer. You can reach us by calling Head Office in Nanaimo at 250.716.3454, or toll free 1.800.663.2007.
Please note that all of the information offered is solely for educational purposes in regards to customer-initiated aggressive or violent incidents occurring at any BCFS worksite. The information does not apply to situations involving worker- to- worker conflict or interpersonal difficulties or to issues or concerns involving possible abuse or misuse of supervisory or management authority. There are other mechanisms available in the Collective Agreement to help you address issues of that nature.
You can learn more about customer-initiated violence and aggression reporting processes, worker rights, and review other relevant information by clicking any of the links available below.
What does BC Ferries have to say about Violence at the Workplace?
For your review, the printed BCFS pamphlet regarding Violence at the Workplace is available below.