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Unifor to file lawsuit against Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

October 30, 2020 - 12:00 AM

October 30, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Unifor, on behalf of striking Dominion workers, is filing a lawsuit against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) for violating the rights of workers at a legal picket location.

“The RNC brought tactical and riot squads to a peaceful picket location where police officers proceeded to threaten workers with criminal charges,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “This clear intimidation, on behalf of corporate entities, is a gross violation of the workers’ intrinsic right to picket.”

The picket line at the Weston’s bakery operated peacefully for two days before RNC officers descended under darkness in the late hours of October 27 to order the workers to break their picket line or face charges under the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

Unifor will file a notice of civil claim against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador for breach of Charter Rights, negligence, negligent or willful misrepresentation and intimidation.

“The police clearly overstepped their legal duties and attempted to enforce a section of the Criminal Code that was not applicable to the circumstances,” said Dias. “They failed to respect our members’ Charter Rights to freedom of expression and association.”

The union is seeking damages and an admission that the police action was unwarranted.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange a Skype, Zoom or Facetime interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).