Union says arrows and gasoline tossed at striking B.C. assisted living workers

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith says arrows and gasoline were thrown at the picketers early last week

Assisted living workers will be “beefing up” their Courtenay picket line after picketers were allegedly attacked early in the week.

Casa Loma Seniors Village and Comox Valley Seniors Village workers have been taking targeted job action at the two assisted living facilities since Sunday, Dec. 2, including manning a picket line along Headquarters Road.

READ MORE: Assisted living workers go on strike for fair wages

According to BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) president Stephanie Smith, workers were out on the picket lines during an evening shift last week when arrows were shot at the line and gasoline was thrown in their direction. She says the RCMP were called.

“Picket lines can be places of heightened emotion for sure,” said Smith. “We’ve had incidents of cars trying to run through our lines… there’s often verbal assaults, that sort of thing, but certainly never like this.”

The picketers have resumed their rotating strikes and the BCGEU has put out the call for more members to come out and support the picketing workers.

“Immediately, we sent an email out to all our members in the area asking them to come and support the line, particularly on the evening shifts. We’ve asked that we are closely monitoring to ensure the safety of our picketers,” she said, adding that there is safety in numbers.

Smith could not give an update on the status of the negotiations between the BCGEU and the employer, Pacific Reach Seniors Housing Management. However, she hopes that Comox Valley residents will remember these workers are taking job action in order to offer better support to the people in their care.

“These workers are striking to improve the working conditions there, but also to improve the quality of care that these residents receive by ensuring that they have proper staffing levels and that they are able to recruit and retain workers at these centres,” said Smith. “I can’t even begin to try and understand the mindset of people who would do this – risk the lives and safety of workers who are exercising the constitutional right to run a picket line in support of their bargaining.”

A request for comment has been sent to the Comox Valley RCMP. The story will be updated when more information is available.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey councillors wary of ‘streamlining’ environmental development permits process

Mayor Doug McCallum notes B.C. government only agency that can issue environment permit

Lost season ‘disappointing’, but White Rock Renegades eager to play outside competition

South Surrey softball organization president hopes inter-city play is a few weeks away

City buys century-old East Delta church

St. Stephen’s Church to be renovated and restored, used as community services and programming space

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help Surrey boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read