OH&S Conference Attendee Perspective: Stand up, report any and all violence in the workplace

GSU member Mark Lannigan attended the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s OH&S conference Sept. 11 – 13 in Regina, and he was happy he had made attending a priority.

“It was a great experience. Not just the course, but also on a personal level,” Mark said. “I met people who have connections to my mom’s life. One lady from her most recent work experience and one from my mom’s childhood.”

This is an experience that wouldn’t have happened had he not made the choice to attend the conference and meet new people.

The course Mark chose to attend was the prevention of violence in the workplace. After hearing members from other unions and workplaces speak, he came to the conclusion that the biggest obstacle to preventing violence in the workplace is the lack of reporting.

“If we want to make a difference and make a change for our children, we need to stand up and report any and all violence in the workplace,” he said.

On Thursday afternoon, conference attendees traveled to participate in a supportive march with UFCW members who had been locked out of their Heritage Inn Hotel workplace since September 7, 2023.

“For me, this march was inspiring and disheartening at the same time,” said Mark. “In order to create a better future for our children and our grandchildren, we need to make sure we stand up now for ourselves and others and show solidarity to all who are under attack by their employers. That’s true not only in our workplaces, but in our communities as well.”

Mark hopes to attend the next OH&S conference to learn more about what we can do to continue making our working lives better.

“Attending the conference led to a newfound inspiration for Mark and conference attendees,” said GSU staff rep Brian Lark. “They realize that the need for unions in the workplace is even greater now than it has ever been.”

If you are interested in learning more or attending a GSU education opportunity, contact your GSU staff rep.