Union says arrows and gasoline tossed at striking Comox Valley assisted living workers

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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Most Read