Gawronsky Calls for Full Investigation after Member Stabbed at EIA Office
Jan 18, 2019
This week, a protective services officer was stabbed after confronting a man trying to gain entry to an Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) office on Rorie Street in Winnipeg. The man was known to staff.
MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky, says that violent incidents at EIA offices have been on the rise.
“This is only the latest in an increasing number of violent incidents caused by the consolidation of social assistance services in Winnipeg and a meth crisis that’s getting worse.”
Members at the EIA office in question have reported weapons, used needles discarded in the workplace bathroom, death threats, stalking of staff members, and abuse directed at staff. Many of the individuals involved in these incidents have shown signs of underlying mental health and addiction issues, particularly methamphetamine use. Gawronsky says that other frontline workers across the city fear that this increase in violence may eventually occur in their workplaces as well.
“This officer heroically protected his fellow staff members who were only trying to do their jobs providing public services to Manitobans,” said Gawronsky. “This incident shows the importance of proper training for employees, as well as proper safety gear, such as vests. We are all thankful that the officer survived, but this should be a wake-up call for government.”
Gawronsky says the incident at this particular EIA office must be fully investigated, and the MGEU’s workplace safety and health specialist would review the results of such an investigation to make recommendations for additional safety precautions.
“We will work with
government in any way we can to ensure that these frontline workers are safe in