A leading trade union threatened to boycott today’s (Tuesday) national Ban Bullying at Work Day after comments made in Personnel Today about unions’ lack of action on workplace bullying.
The Connect union, which represents 20,000 managers and professionals in the communications industry, originally refused to back the day because of comments made by the Andrea Adams Trust anti-bullying charity, which runs the day.
Matt Witheridge, the trust’s operations manager, accused unions of being too complacent in tackling bullying (Personnel Today, 17 October).
He said: “There is a big problem with the unions and employees feel let down by them. Unions are not offering members as much support as they could.”
In an e-mail seen by Personnel Today, Connect assistant secretary Aveen McHugh, complained to the trust about the article, saying she was “exasperated” by Witheridge’s comments. She added: “It would be hard for me to defend my signing Connect up to your [Ban Bullying at Work] day without some evidence of a public retraction of the statement.”
But after being contacted by Personnel Today, Connect backtracked on its previous stance. In a statement, McHugh said: “Ban Bullying at Work Day is an opportunity to highlight the very real issue of workplace bullying. Connect is happy to support the day and will be highlighting it to our own members.”