The Issue of Disability Rights in the Workplace and How You Can Help

At Teamsters 987, we believe that equality within the workplace is just as important as fair compensation or a safe work environment, but unfortunately, many workplaces do not treat this issue as important, especially when it comes to the rights of those with disabilities. According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, the employment rate of Canadians with disabilities was 49%. When compared to the 79% of Canadians without disabilities that were employed during this time, this number is telling of just how unprotected those with disabilities are. But the issue does not end with finding a job, once employed those with disabilities often face poor treatment within the workplace due to the stigma attached to disabilities.

Whether physical or mental, a disability is something that can happen to anyone, and yet protecting the rights of those with disabilities is often an incredibly low priority for the government, employers, and colleagues. Our legal system has grossly neglected the issue of disability rights, and has failed to fully support individuals and the families of individuals with disabilities.

But it doesn’t have to end there. Canadian Labour Congress is committed to educating the public about issues such as disability rights, and you can be a part of that!

It all starts with educating yourself. Check out this video about disability rights, and visit the Canadian Labour Congress website for more articles on the subject.

After learning more about the issue of disability rights, it’s your turn to become and advocate! Being a disability rights advocate doesn’t always mean lobbying the government or forcing large corporations to modify their policies. Sometimes being a disability rights advocate means being honest with your supervisors and colleagues about your own illness or speaking up when you see someone within your workplace being mistreated due to their disability. Being a disability rights advocate also means creating spaces for honest dialogue and facilitating conversations that help de-stigmatize disabilities.

Teamsters 987 union of Alberta, wants to see all workers receive equal opportunities and fair treatment, which is why we want to help shine a light on the issue of disability rights. If you feel as though you are being treated unfairly because of a disability, or if you have witnessed unfair treatment in your workplace against someone with a disability, get in touch with us. Your Teamsters family is always here to support you as we all fight together to improve the reality for our fellow workers.

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