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PORT COQUITLAMCivic workers, members of CUPE Local 498 have been ordered back to work by the Labour Relations Board (LRB) following a two-day protest that virtually shut down city hall in the Vancouver suburb. The workers were protesting the firing of Jeff Brovold a 28-year city staff member, who is also vice-president of Local 498.

Mark Hancock, president of CUPE 498, expressed frustration and outrage at the blatant mishandling of what he calls at best a minor misdemeanor surrounded by extenuating circumstances.

To make matters worse, said Hancock, our city administrator has gone out and charged his employees with an illegal work stoppage all because they are protesting a blatantly inappropriate handling of a human resources issue.

We proposed other solutions that were rejected by the city, including moving Mr. Brovold to another department, said Hancock. If they had accepted our suggestions, this whole mess could have been avoided.

Hancock made it clear that the union would direct members to obey the back-to-work order.

CUPE will continue to fight for work place justice both for Jeff and others who are faced with such brutal treatment, said Hancock.

CUPE BC president Barry ONeill supported the local and attended the protest. There is an arbitration pending in this case, one that pre-dated the firing, said ONeill. Its an unfortunate situation that could have and should have been avoided, by using the labour relations system. CUPE expects the city to remedy the situation and return to the process.

Mark Hancock president, CUPE local 498 (604) 828-0498
Louise Leclair CUPE communications (604) 291-1940 or cell (604) 454-4711