City worker union takes on alleged harassment at City of Richmond

    RICHMOND, BC, April 16 /CNW/ - Following on the heels of a B.C. Court of
Appeal decision late February, CUPE Local 394 has filed a grievance on behalf
of Jose Mario Ferreira alleging that the City of Richmond has failed to
provide a safe and harassment free workplace and that as a result Mr. Ferreira
suffered damages for which he should be compensated.
    "We want justice for Mr. Ferreira and to be sure the City of Richmond
fosters an environment in which all city workers are treated with dignity and
respect," says Robin Jones, CUPE National Representative. "When harassment
exists in the workplace, it's because the employer allows it."
    If the grievance cannot be resolved between the Union and the City of
Richmond, it will proceed to labour arbitration. Well-known and experienced
labour lawyer, Carmela Allevato, has been appointed as legal counsel for the
    In his grievance, Mr. Ferreira claims he suffered retaliation as a result
of reporting irregularities in the workplace to the employer. These
irregularities included theft of materials, improper credit card use, and
false time cards. He also claims the employer was aware of this retaliation
and harassment and took no action to mitigate, stop or address it.
    Mr. Ferreira has been off on sick leave since November 2002 as a result
of harassment in the workplace.

For further information:

For further information: Robin Jones, CUPE National Representative:
(604) 314-6586; Diane Kalen, CUPE National Communications Representative:
(778) 229-0258

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