Nov 10, 2011

Parks worker forced into confrontation

VICTORIA – A CUPE Local 50 municipal parks worker splashed with what may have been urine Tuesday in Centennial Square was directed into the confrontational situation by a City of Victoria manager.

The City of Victoria arborist was initially hesitant to attempt to remove a bicycle in a tree in which an Occupy Victoria protester was staying. The worker told his manager that attempting to move the bike could be dangerous and confrontational and that it should be a job done by the Victoria Police. He was instructed to proceed by the manager, and did so in keeping with the longstanding “work now, grieve later” policy.  When the arborist attempted to move the bike, the protester dumped a two-litre bucket of what has been reported as urine over his head and shoulders.  

It is the long standing position of CUPE 50 that public workers must not be put into situations where their safety or the safety of others is at risk – that is the job of the police. This municipal worker is an arborist who works for parks.

Victoria Police say they are classifying the attack as an assault. CUPE 50 has launched its own investigation into the incident.

COPE 491