• An Examination of Labour Welfare and Occupational Assistance in Canada

      Csiernik, Rick (2009-08-04)
      This article explores labour welfare in Canada across three distinct periods of occupational assistance: 1. Welfare Capitalism which began with the industrial revolution and persisted through the depression of the 1930s; 2. Occupational Alcoholism Programming which emerged during World War II and the typically unreported domestic labour strife of the 1940s and lasted through the post war economic boom into the 1960s; and, 3. The Employee Assistance Programming era with the introduction of the broadbrush approach to workplace-based assistance which also witnessed organized labour in Canada provide fundamental supports to workers that were originally introduced by workplace owners during the Welfare Capitalism period though now to benefit workers rather than to control them. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution and into the new information and technological era of work, organized labour has had a distinct role in shaping and providing services to enhance worker and community wellness in Canada. “Unions have traditionally taken care of their own members not only by negotiating protection clauses in collective agreements, but they have assisted members with problems that may or may not have arisen out of the workplace.” Dick Martin, Vice President, Canadian Labour Congress, 1986.
    • An integrated model of occupational assistance

      Csiernik, Rick (Canadian Association of Social Workers, 1998-09-12)
      The workplace is a salient venue through which to address personal difficulties and to assist family functioning directly. Intervention in the workplace also assists the community by reducing the number and severity of problems experienced by families. Yet, what is the responsibility of social work to the workplace? Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in North America, an antagonistic relationship has existed between labour and management, with social workers acting as intermediaries. Responsibilities of occupational social workers have ranged from ensuring that young single women were living in virtuous Christian environments, to bringing widespread use of critical incident stress debriefing to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) in the 1980s. These initiatives by social workers and related counselling professionals supplanted self-helpers in the workplace who had become active through groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous asearly as the 1940s.