30 March, 2023

ETNO and UNI Europa ICTS join forces to combat violence and harassment in telecommunications workplaces

BRUSSELS, 30 March 2023 - The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) and UNI Europa, the European services workers’ union for workers in ICT and related services, have come together to tackle violence and harassment in telecommunications workplaces across Europe.

The two organisations have signed a joint commitment to provide a safe and inclusive work environment for all telecommunications employees.

Violence and harassment in the workplace can have a detrimental effect on an individual's physical and mental well-being. Moreover, it can result in reduced productivity and increased absenteeism. As a result, it is crucial to create a safe and supportive work environment for all employees.

In their joint statement, ETNO and UNI Europa ICTS pledge to work together and apply appropriate measures to prevent violence and harassment in the telecommunications industry workforce. The role played by social dialogue and collective bargaining between trade unions and employers is extremely important, so are the applicable co-decision rights of workers regarding health and safety at work are respected.

The organisations will also address gender-sensitive differences encountered at the workplace and provide support to anyone affected. This includes gender inequalities in working conditions and eliminating all forms of violence against women at work, including sexual harassment. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the issue of domestic violence worse, especially for those working remotely or in hybrid work settings, and it needs to be addressed as a work-related issue.

ETNO and UNI Europa ICTS will work together to promote adequate policies and procedures, training and awareness-raising initiatives for employees and management, and provide support to anyone who experiences violence or harassment in the workplace.

This partnership continues the work between ETNO and UNI Europa ICTS on this matter. Throughout the years, the two associations have worked with their members and with other policy and industry stakeholders to raise awareness and promote best practices within the workforces of their members.

Lise Fuhr, Director General, ETNO: “There is no place for violence at the workplace and any kind of harassment must be condemned to the fullest. It is through open and inclusive dialogue that we can fully exploit our innovative potential, strengthen our social engagements and nurture our creative thinking. Making sure that people are safe at work is central to a business’s success.”

Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary, UNI Europa: “Working together is how we address violence and harassment in the world of work. It is great to count employers in the ICT sector as partners in this crucial effort. Prevention, complaints mechanisms and effective remediation require training, enforcement and monitoring. This strong statement shows our joint resolve to achieve these objectives together."

Read the whole statement here.

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