Yossi Berger has seen it all: workplace stupidity and violence, industrial ‘accidents’ and tragic deaths at work. Yet A Kind of Violence is about the subtleties of workplace violence: the small stresses that become psychological disorders; the chemicals that little by little eat away workers’ insides; the ‘she’ll-be-right’ masculinity that niggles away at safety conditions, hard won by generations of workers and unions.
A workplace health and safety activist for the Australian Workers’ Union, Yossi had documented and photographed a wide range of workplaces and activities. From the shearing shed to the Longford Gas Plant; from the chemical works to the glass furnace; from the clothing factory to the construction site, Yossi records for posterity the kind of violence that usually goes unreported in Australian workplaces.
“It is possible to say that, in part, we’re all actors in some script, in some yarn. It’s also possible to discover general themes in many people’s stories. In this collection of stories Yossi Berger has put a magnifying glass to many workplaces in many industries and has provided a texture of meaning, sometimes harsh, sometimes humorous, sometimes touching, ever thoughtful.” – Jennie George.
Yossi Berger… takes the reader into an underworld of chemicals, furnaces and dangerous machinery where workers are daily exposed to life threatening situations, where bosses turn a blind eye to unsafe conditions, where workers remain mute in fear of losing their jobs and those who complain are ostracised by other workers and management… Berger exposes the inhuman consequences of unrealistic demands made in the name of productivity.” – Fiona Capp, The Age.