October 18th, 2012
AFGE Local 32 President Endorses Bill Opposing Workplace Bullying
Humiliation, condescending attitudes and belittling remarks are discouraged at playgrounds, yet no one bats an eye when the victims happen to have children themselves. Workplace bullying is a silent and destructive reality for thousands of federal employees nationwide, threatening their health and livelihoods, but Charletta McNeil, President of AFGE Local 32 intends to change that.
“We’re no longer going to suffer in silence, suffer in the closet’” said McNeil. ”Today is the first day of a new beginning where we will address this issue head on.”
Representing the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Ms. McNeil spoke out today at a press conference organized by the Workplace Bullying Institute in conjunction with AFGE, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and survivors of such abuse and their supporters. Approximately 1 in 8 federal employees (approximately 240,000) have experienced harassment, aggression and pain at the hands of their co-workers. McNeil, a government employee at the Office of Personnel Management, launched a fiery call to action Friday, pushing for urgent action on the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB).
Introduced into the California state legislature in 2003, the HWB has since been introduced in 21 states, yet voting on the measure has yet to begin. While the bill may have stalled, the effects of workplace bullying have not leading to decreased productivity, undermined careers leaving many victims with debilitating health problems. Other survivors report hair loss, anxiety, tremors, weight fluctuations and even vomiting. When reaching out for help victims, such as Neal Dias and Susan Rae Baker, recalled stories of intense internal suppression of their claims and repeated attempts to assassinate their character and jeopardize their livelihood.
McNeil has seen firsthand, the horrors of workplace bullying and recalled that one colleague was so distraught she considered jumping off of a bridge. Now, with the resources of AFGE, the largest federal employee union representing 670,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas, McNeil and other advocates can intensify awareness efforts and increase pressure on lawmakers to finally take action.
“We’re going to make great strides and I’m very happy to be a part of it,” said McNeil.
Now that organizations such as the NAACP and SEIU have joined AFGE in championing the cause, the hope is that a more passionate, unified front can break through the news clutter and red tape, while also providing crucial protection and support for victims and whistleblowers.
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at 1:50 pm and is filed under Freedom Week, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Unions, Workplace Bullying Laws. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.