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Zero tolerance of harassment in the workplace


BRUSSELS, Belgium—European trade groups are vowing to fight workplace violence and harassment in a recently signed agreement that calls for zero-tolerance of such behavior.

The four European social partners committed themselves to implementing by 2010 a program that will "provide employers, workers and their representatives with a framework to identify, prevent and manage problems of harassment and violence at work," according to the agreement they signed last week in Brussels.

The partners are the European Trade Union Confederation, European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation & Enterprises of General Economic Interest, the Confederation of European Businesses and the European Association of Craft, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises.

The agreement condemns all forms of harassment and violence, and points out the employer's duty to protect workers. It calls for companies to set out procedures to follow when cases arise and stresses that complaints should be quickly investigated.