Year Published: 1983
Periodical profile published 1983
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX2820
Abstract: The VDT NEWSLETTER, written by and about Vidoe Display Terminal workers, reports on current developments in VDT research, contracts, on-the-job struggles nd victories, proposed legislation, and government action or inaction.
VDT NEWSLETTER has recently reported on a variety of research studies. A study done by Bell Canada indicateds that VDTs can produce low levels of X-radiaiton. While the levels are below government standards, they are cause for concern, the NEWSLETTER states, because all X-radiation is dangerous and because no radiation should be present. Another report, done by the Hospital Employee's Union of Surrey Memorial Hospital, British Columbia, states that "of six pregnancies among VDT operators, two ended in miscarriage and four were carried to full term; of these, one baby required corrective eye surgery, one was born one month premature, another baby suffers from bronchitis and one is normal." The same report cites a high incidence of eye strain, cataracts, headaches, dizziness, and nausea among VDT workers.
In its "Contract News" section, the VDT NEWSLETTER reports on recently negotiated contract clauses. For example, the British Columbia Federation of Government Employees' contracts include clauses calling for:
- a 10 minute break to be taken during each hour while operating a VDT;
- lighting should be such as to reduce eyestrain to the minimum. No employee is required to work more than
four hours per day on a VDT; and
- regular maintenance and emission level tests must be carried out four times annually. The results of those
tests are available to all members.
The latest issue of the NEWSLETTER reports on the recommendations of the Federal Government Task Force on Micro-electronics which calls for a maximum of five hours per day at a terminal, rest breaks every hour, initial and annual eye tests as well as corrective lenses, all paid for by the employer. It also recommends a ban on close electronic monitoring, considered inconsistent with human rightrs. And the Task Force supports the right of pregnant operators to work away from their terminal with no loss of pay, seniority or benefits. The NEWSLETTER points out, however, that "while a Task Force can suggest guidelines, the realizaiton of such recommendations must be achieved at each individual workplace.