With “Ça va mal à’shop” the FTQ aims to raise awareness of employees’ psychosocial risks

This text is part of the special Syndicalism booklet

“It goes bad with ‘shop'”, “Pousse, but pushes right”, “It takes all my little changes”, “Don’t let go of the potato”, these expressions well from here, we hear them and often use them in reference to the world of work, the tax demanded, the pressure felt. These are also the episode titles of Shopping is bada new web series on psychosocial risks in the workplace launched by the Quebec Federation of Labor (FTQ) as part of Mental Health Week.

“We often hear that work is health! For many, it’s just the opposite,” said Daniel Boyer, president of the FTQ. In fact, more than 500,000 workers across the country are missing each week due to mental health issues.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the situation, but it was a problem before, he notes. We’ve been wondering about the rise in mental illness for 20 or 30 years. †

This was the reason for the FTQ to make the web series Shopping is bad, now available online. Drawing on testimonials from employees and experts, the eight short episodes of the series address concrete problems, expose situations experienced by those who confide in the camera, and propose solutions to solve the problems.

“We wonder in this series if it’s normal for us to get sick from work,” explains the FTQ chairman. Psychosocial risks are invisible, silent. It’s not like breaking an arm or a leg, it’s sneaky and hidden. People don’t talk about it either, they often feel weaker when they see that they can’t do it. That’s why it’s important to talk about it. †

When we talk about psychosocial risks, we are mainly talking about overtime, overwork, lack of recognition, precarious jobs and a toxic work environment. “It affects everyone, all sectors, men and women, but more women because there are many in the service sector,” said Mr Boyer.

“It is simplistic to think that it only takes one walk a day to be indifferent to a toxic or oppressive job! underlines Daniel Boyer, while the burden of well-being at work is often placed on the shoulders of employees. According to the FTQ, the work organization should be completely overhauled. “To achieve this, employees need to be involved in preventing these situations in the workplace,” he adds. To make necessary repairs so that fewer people fall into battle. †

With its web series, the FTQ hopes to encourage workplaces to engage in taboo-free discussion. A web universe offering various tools and a survey that allows people to question themselves about their own psychosocial risks in the workplace accompany the series on the platform.

And if we can take advantage of the pandemic, it could push employers to act faster and find ways to watch over the mental health of their employees. “I think the current situation can make employers more aware of the importance of caring for their staff,” Boyer said. I’m not saying they didn’t take care of it before, but they took it for granted. Deaf employers lose their staff. †

A step in the right direction

The FTQ will offer this web series at the moment the interim regime of prevention and participation mechanisms comes into force, which aims to increase the control of health and safety in the workplace.

“We would have liked the project to have had more bite, but it’s a start,” says Mr. boyer. Since April 6, all workplaces must have a prevention mechanism. We want to get more resources, but we’ve taken a small step and we’re not done yet! †

The FTQ is taking advantage of Mental Health Week, May 2-8, to officially launch the web series at an in-person event that will take place on May 5. The Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, as well as the Chairman and CEO of the Commission on Standards, Equality, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST), Manuelle Oudar, will be in attendance, among others.

To be seen in video

Leave a Comment