The Raelian Movement has picked the wrong platform - United Steelworkers (FTQ) defends all members without discrimination



    BROSSARD, QC, Feb. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Raelian Movement has launched a
smear campaign against United Steelworkers (FTQ) based on false information.
"We have no intention of acting as a platform for the Raelian Movement. Our
purpose is to defend all the members of our union without discrimination. That
is what we have always done and will continue to do in the case of one of our
members at the Transformateur Delta du Canada plant in Granby who is also a
member of the Raelian Movement," stated Denis Trottier, Coordinator of United
Steelworkers (FTQ).
    Here are the facts: In 2007, the company asked one of its employees who
is a member of the Raelian Movement to stop wearing two particular T-shirts to
work because other plant workers found them offensive. Several employees had
indeed complained to Transformateur Delta du Canada that the two T-shirts in
question offended their personal religious convictions. Company policy
prohibits any form of discrimination on the basis of religion, sex, race, etc.
    Company management decided to ask the employee to return home for two
hours-without pay-in order to change his clothes. The union consequently
submitted two grievances: the first for discrimination and the second for time
lost without pay.
    The worker decided to bring the union before the Commission des relations
de travail (CRT), alleging that it had failed to defend him. A conciliator
convened a meeting of the parties involved on company premises. As a result of
the discussions during that meeting, the company stated that it was prepared
to reimburse the employee for the two hours in lost pay. The worker refused
the offer, formally withdrew his grievance against the union in writing, and
stated that he would continue to wear the T-shirts, one of which displays the
message "Dieu n'existe pas" (God does not exist) and the other, an image of an
extra-terrestrial with the caption "Voici le vrai visage de Dieu" (The true
face of God). The employer subsequently applied the progressive disciplinary
measures provided under the collective agreement. Management met with the
worker, suspended him for three days, followed by another 10 days, and finally
terminated his employment.
    The union submitted three grievances further to the employee's
termination. "It is wrong to assume, as the Raelian Movement is doing, that
the union is taking the employer's side in this matter. We have consistently
defended the rights of this worker, while keeping the interests of all our
members in mind. Our union defends freedom of conscience, provided the
promotion of individual convictions does not interfere with the rights of
others. We will continue to defend this worker as we have always done for his
co-workers in the past," asserted Guy Gaudette, United Steelworkers (FTQ)
representative.




For further information:

For further information: Denis Trottier, United Steelworkers (FTQ),
(450) 656-1113; Guy Gaudette, United Steelworkers (FTQ), (450) 656-1113


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