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Old 19.03.2007, 14:54
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Mobbing in Switzerland

I’ve followed events of the thread below by litespeed, and recently, a radio discussion on this subject. I thought I would start a new thread re: MOBBING.
http://www.englishforum.ch/employment/308-i-think-i-am-about-lose-my-job.html


I have known a number of unlucky friends who have found themselves in similar situations or worse – jobless! IMO this “method” of bullying seems to have been known, used and ‘gotten away with’, for sometime here in CH. I think that people working in CH, or wanting to, should at least be aware of it. Slowly mobbing and its effects are now being recognised.


Litespeed was brave enough to fight back and get what he was entitled to. There are maybe others out there who are in a similar situation and unsure what to do.



What is Mobbing?
The term used "mobbing" comes from the word mob. Its semantic field includes both abuse and attack, and it relates to situations where people at work are systematically or regularly placed under severe psychological strain through negative treatment or negative forms of communication over a longer period of time.



Are there are any other people who have had similar experiences - whilst working in CH? Why not share your thoughts/experiences that may help someone else?



More info:
http://www.respect.ethz.ch/faq/mobbing/index_EN
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:04
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Re: Mobbing in CH

Is that an english expression ? Never heard of it.

dave

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What is Mobbing?
The term used "mobbing" comes from the word mob. Its semantic field includes both abuse and attack, and it relates to situations where people at work are systematically or regularly placed under severe psychological strain through negative treatment or negative forms of communication over a longer period of time.
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:06
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Re: Mobbing in CH

Mobbing is what the Swiss term bullying in the workplace.

Mobbing for me would be Flash Mobbing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobbing
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:11
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Re: Mobbing in CH

Dave A: it is actually a legally recognised term here in CH.

That's why I thought it important to make people aware of this topic.
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:11
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Re: Mobbing in CH

This is my understanding of mob(bing), from some online dictionary...see the bit below of the disgusting treatment of the popular singer

dave


mob (mb) n. 1. A large disorderly crowd or throng. See Synonyms at crowd1.
2. The mass of common people; the populace.
3. Informal a. An organized gang of criminals; a crime syndicate.
b. often Mob Organized crime. Often used with the: a murder suspect with links to the Mob.

4. An indiscriminate or loosely associated group of persons or things: a mob of boats in the harbor.
5. Australian A flock or herd of animals.

tr.v. mobbed, mob·bing, mobs 1. To crowd around and jostle or annoy, especially in anger or excessive enthusiasm: Eager fans mobbed the popular singer.
2. To crowd into: Visitors mobbed the fairgrounds.
3. To attack in large numbers; overwhelm: The quarterback was mobbed by the defensive line.






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Mobbing is what the Swiss term bullying in the workplace.

Mobbing for me would be Flash Mobbing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobbing
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:17
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Re: Mobbing in CH

I think this is an exclusively Swiss term? My intermediate German instructor (Swiss from Basel) and I had a heated discussion about its meaning in class last autumn, as she insisted it only applied to bullying in schools. Having seen "Mobbing" used in the press and on TV applied almost exclusively to the workplace I was having problems understanding her. That being the case, I am not sure if the Germans use "Mobbing" in terms of abuse at the workplace in the same way that the Swiss German do. It is most definitely not an English word, at least not in the same manner as they use it.
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:49
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Re: Mobbing in CH

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I think this is an exclusively Swiss term? My intermediate German instructor (Swiss from Basel) and I had a heated discussion about its meaning in class last autumn, as she insisted it only applied to bullying in schools. Having seen "Mobbing" used in the press and on TV applied almost exclusively to the workplace I was having problems understanding her. That being the case, I am not sure if the Germans use "Mobbing" in terms of abuse at the workplace in the same way that the Swiss German do. It is most definitely not an English word, at least not in the same manner as they use it.
http://www.mobbing-usa.com/
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:49
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Re: Mobbing in CH

The term "workplace mobbing" was coined by the German-Swedish psychologist, Heinz Leymann (1932-1999), around 1980, to describe intense collective aggression toward a targeted worker by managers and/or co-workers.

It is a term used throughout the world.

Here are some international links:

http://www.law-office.demon.co.uk/art%20mobbing-1.htm (UK)
http://www.mobbing-usa.com/ (USA)
http://members.iinet.net.au/~rabbit/stalky.htm (Australia)

The list goes on...
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:54
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Re: Mobbing in CH

Mobbing is a serious issue in CH and is a legally recognised term for bullying/harrasment in the work place. I know a Swiss guy who is fighting a similar case after he was sent to work in the London office of his Swiss company. While he was there he was treated terribly by management and was actually sacked from the Zurich headquarters whilst on holiday. The firm stopped paying his rent in London and all expenses... there's a lot more to it that i can't go into but he has a good lawyer who is fighting his case on anti-mobbing legislation alone and he seems to getting somewhere.

Have a loot at www.mobbing-zentrale.ch - the sixth button down has some info in English
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:59
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

It is also used in the French part of the country and it is indeed meant as "bullying".

Another example of "Federal English"
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Old 19.03.2007, 17:21
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

It isn't a term normally used in the US - or at least it wasn't before I left. But I have experienced mobbing, from a wacko department head who spread around her venom on everyone in the department (every couple of weeks or so, someone was the particular victim of her abuse).

Mobbing is certainly a fact of life in Switzerland. I've known people who were victims of it in the workplace, and have heard the stories.

Expats have also picked it up, and I've seen examples of it among the expat community - particularly in Basel.
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Old 19.03.2007, 17:47
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Re: Mobbing in CH

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I think this is an exclusively Swiss term? My intermediate German instructor (Swiss from Basel) and I had a heated discussion about its meaning in class last autumn, as she insisted it only applied to bullying in schools.
It is also used in Germany, and yes, in work places too, not just in schools.
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Old 19.03.2007, 18:23
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Mobbing, like any destructive intent, is best prevented by effective detterrent, such as criminal or civil penalties against mobbers, and companies that tolerate it.

As much as you can take an employer to court for mobbing, I don't know if it brings anything more than a slap on the wrist. I could be wrong.
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Old 19.03.2007, 18:33
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Well I think the difficult part is to prove the subjective issues i.e. harassment and the key is to keep notes of all discussions. Obviously the mobbed employee is pretty much out of the company or would not want to get back into the company. A solid reference letter is important. The site mentions one could actually get 6 months compensation after the end of the contract.

I am glad that expats are getting together to discuss this.
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Old 19.03.2007, 19:27
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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It isn't a term normally used in the US - or at least it wasn't before I left.
We use the word harassment as far as I am aware? I don't know. Do you have any ideas for expressions in American English shell? Anyway, like you said, the word "mobbing" is not known by most Americans and I've never heard it used within this context.

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It is also used in Germany, and yes, in work places too, not just in schools.
I thought so as well. Leo said as much.
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Old 19.03.2007, 20:18
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

I learnt of "mobbing" while in Germany, although fortunately I haven´t experienced it. My take on it is that it is more like harrassment from a group of people (or organisation) who have a fixed goal in mind (ie you leaving the place), rather than being picked on or singled out by a certain individual, who is just doing it to annoy you or to upset you.
Thus I take mobbing to be a more serious form of bullying than harrassment (although I guess it depends how you define harrassment)..
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Old 19.03.2007, 21:02
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

I experienced something similar to this a few years ago at the hands of a bullying boss in a very small company, but I don't feel comfortable sharing all the details here.

I handed in my notice after 8 months, and what I wanted to add is what I learned after I ultimately was forced to take legal action to get a reference letter and some pay due to me (which I got): my lawyer told me at the time that it is extremely difficult to prove "mobbing," as they call it here, and it is near-impossible for employees to get out of months-long notice periods if they are suffering from this, even though in my particular case I had been diagnosed with job-related exhaustion by a doctor, who refused to let me go back to work (this was when I was still operating under a totally misguided sense of duty).
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Old 20.03.2007, 00:42
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

Why is the Swiss workplace susceptible to this 'mobbing'? Is it something particularly common to Germanic cultures or is it more common in Switzerland than elsewhere? I am part of a Germanic culture myself, but do not recognize this at all, and I am trying to understand where it is coming from, what is driving these people

(Having lived in many Anglo-Saxon cultures, the whole concept feels rather alien but that is just my impression...)
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Old 20.03.2007, 08:12
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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Why is the Swiss workplace susceptible to this 'mobbing'? Is it something particularly common to Germanic cultures or is it more common in Switzerland than elsewhere? I am part of a Germanic culture myself, but do not recognize this at all, and I am trying to understand where it is coming from, what is driving these people

(Having lived in many Anglo-Saxon cultures, the whole concept feels rather alien but that is just my impression...)
I'm not sure that it has been established that it is. All that it seems is that 'Swinglish' word 'mobbing' is used exclusively for this action, whereas in English-speaking countries 'bullying' and 'harassment' are also used.

Though there is a tendency to not be 'two-faced' in Germanic culture and 'call a spade a spade', rather than talk in British inuendo....
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Old 20.03.2007, 08:27
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Re: Mobbing in Switzerland

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I'm not sure that it has been established that it is. All that it seems is that 'Swinglish' word 'mobbing' is used exclusively for this action, whereas in English-speaking countries 'bullying' and 'harassment' are also used.
Here's a good example of how "mobbing" would be reported in "Australian" English.
http://www.thewest.com.au/default.as...ontentID=23905

Last edited by Yokine; 20.03.2007 at 09:41.
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