An auto plant in Windsor, Ontario is at the centre of a shocking, racially aggravated incident which saw a noose attached to one black employee’s truck and a second left near his work station.
After the initial discovery was made, supervisors and union stewards called together dozens of workers to tell them the incident was unacceptable but, shortly after the meeting concluded, a second noose was found strung on a golf cart in the victim’s work area.
As a result, the organization felt a police investigation was warranted.
“(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada) has a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment or discrimination of any kind,” said LouAnn Gosselin, head of communications for the company.
“This policy applies not only to our own employees, but also to vendors or contractors working at our facilities,” she continued.
About 1,500 people have been working at the plant while it is currently being retooled. Approximately 600 employees are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) with hundreds more in the Labourers International Union of North America (LIUNA.
Karl Lovett, business manager for IBEW Local 773, said he was confident the culprit would be caught.
“There are definitely others who know what happened besides just the guy who did this,” he said. “He won’t be able to keep it to himself and will have wanted others within his group to know what he did.”
If it turns out to be an IBEW worker, Mr. Lovett said he would automatically lose his union membership.
The victim, in his late 40s, was shaken but declined to speak about the incidents.
Staff Sgt. Dave Kigar said Windsor police are following up with the complainant and Chrysler security to ensure the worker’s safety. “People should be allowed to come to work and feel safe,” he added.
Worryingly, over 40 per cent of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis. Stuart Mackay, of McKenziwe Lake lawyers, says employers cannot afford to igore the epidemic.
MacKay will be joined by employment lawyer Sean Flaherty at the HR Masterclass on 17th April, 2015. The pair will be discussing how HR managers can avoid the workplace disruption, costly legal battles and tarnished reputation that comes with many bullying and harassment incidents.
To find out more about the masterclass, click here.