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RICHMOND – 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 union.

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.

Contact: Robin Jones, CUPE National Representative: 604.314.6586; Diane Kalen, CUPE National Communications Representative: 778-229.0258