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

Requests for proposals for the first stage of a water treatment facility project have been issued by the City of Prince Rupert on Oct. 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Water treatment facility project in Prince Rupert enters first phase

Prince Rupert seeks proposals for assessment of water quality supply and treatment options

A Shoppers Drug Mart employee in Prince Rupert has tested positive for COVID-19 the company confirmed on Oct. 26. The last day the employee worked was Oct. 17. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Employee of Prince Rupert Shoppers Drug Mart tests positive for COVID-19

No COVID-19 public exposures alerts issued by Northern Health Authority for Prince Rupert

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

North Coast BC NDP MLA Incumbent is seen with her wife Andrea Wilmot and their son Lua, as well as their dog Duncan. Preliminary results on election night Oct. 24 show Rice is in for a third term. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read