Treating people well is key

Happy Labour Day Cowichan!

To most of us, Labour Day means a long weekend before the craziness begins. Having a long weekend to complete the summer is important I agree, but the importance of Labour Day should not be lost.

This is the day we recognize the efforts of working people who came together to advocate for

better working conditions and treatment from their employers and governments.

How people are treated within their work environment is still an important issue. We are just now starting to really understand and acknowledge the impacts of work stressors on an individual’s family, personal health and well being and job performance.

Research suggests harassment and bullying in the workplace alone costs the economy billions of dollars due to absenteeism, compensation claims, employee turn over, mental health issues, and decreased productivity. Therefore it is in organizations’ and governments’ best interests to have happy, healthy employees!

Beyond the business argument for treating each other respectfully, there is the immeasurable benefit of quality of life. Healthy workers equals healthy communities. The argument to continue to improve working conditions fits into all paradigms and should be addressed across all political parties.

This day is a reminder of the significance of labour and employment law and how being treated with respect and dignity in your place of employment is essential but not a given. We all need to continue to improve our labour standards and keep safe, healthy work environments a top priority.

I hope everyone has a great long weekend and an even better safe and prosperous year!

Michelle Bell is councillor for the City of Duncan