Everyone has the right to a safe workplace and services at stores
Today, 21 March, is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which also marks the beginning of the national Week against Racism. The Finnish Commerce Federation hopes that consumers will take into account their own role in promoting the well-being at work of those who work in customer service and in creating a safe environment for those who visit stores.
As the largest employer in the economy, one of the main objectives of trade is to build a good working life. In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are obliged to ensure that employees are also protected from racist harassment from customers.
“We want stores to be safe and pleasant places to work. For employers, it is also a question of work safety and complying with non-discrimination obligations and, in a broader sense, responsibility,” emphasises Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
Members of the Finnish Commerce Federation and the general public have recently voiced concerns about the increasing harassment of Russian or Russian-speaking employees living in Finland. In the current situation, the inappropriate and hostile treatment of people only exacerbates the situation and weakens Finland internally.
The Finnish Commerce Federation condemns the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, but feels it is important to stress that any harassment of Russian or Russian-speaking workers will not be tolerated.
“Russia’s military actions are not the fault of individual citizens. Harassment and hatred should not be directed at Russian or Russian-speaking people living in Finland. Finland is a civilised state under the rule of law in which fellow human beings must be treated equally and with respect. Let’s behave!” Lavikkala says.
Harassment in stores affects not only the well-being of employees, but also the sense of security of other customers. We are all responsible for ensuring that it is safe and pleasant to do business in the store.
The Finnish Commerce Federation has previously published, together with the Service Union United (PAM), guidelines for addressing harassment in the commerce sector. The Finnish Commerce Federation has also recently published an anti-discrimination guide for its member companies.
For further information, please contact:
Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director
+358 (0)40 040 6088