NARAMATA - CUPE is “extremely troubled” by reports of a manager’s aggressive and threatening behaviour on the picket line outside the United Church’s Naramata Centre. A union tent used by striking staff was damaged during an incident Monday night.
CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro said RCMP have been notified and are reportedly investigating the incident involving a Naramata Centre manager. “According to witnesses, verbal and physical threats were made against striking CUPE members and this is totally unacceptable,” said Faoro.
“The safety of our members and their families and supporters on the picket line is paramount and we will do whatever it takes to legally protect them,” said Faoro.
CUPE says management tensions have risen during the three-month labour dispute as the Naramata Centre continues to push contracting out the jobs of local long-term employees in an effort to mitigate its self-inflicted financial problems.
“No one should be afraid to exercise their legal right to strike,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist, adding that an atmosphere of fear is especially troubling at a facility owned by the United Church of Canada. He said CUPE will be seeking reassurances from the United Church that its 627,000 members across the country will be safe from threats and harassment on a picket line.