Union boss offers $150 for strikers' vandalism

The owner of a private garbage collection company alleges that striking Vancouver, B.C. government workers followed him home, harassed him and vandalized his truck. Ray Donkor, who owns Discount Rubbish Removal, told CBC News that on Sept. 10, he was out collecting trash in Vancouver when he was followed by a man he believes was a striking civic worker.

"He started yelling at me, abusing me, so many bad words," Donkor told the CBC on Monday morning. "And then, about three minutes, another two guys pull up, the same city workers, and then two of them started going around on my truck, behind and front, so I didn't even know that they pulled something out," said Donkor.

His two children, ages 13 and 11, were home at the time and heard the disturbance, said Donkor. A neighbour also heard the yelling and called the police, who arrived after the men had left, said Donkor. The police inspected his truck and told him some wires had been tampered with, he said.

About 1,800 outside workers represented by CUPE Local 1004, who are responsible for duties including garbage pickup, have been on strike since July 20. After the incident, Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 president, visited Donkor's home and offered him a $150 settlement, Donkor said, but he refused the cash because he first wanted to consult with a lawyer.

When contacted, CUPE officials declined to comment on the alleged harassment and damage to Donkor's vehicle, saying it was a "legal matter."

Vancouver police confirmed to CBC News that Donkor had filed a complaint following the incident.

Donkor said he is now back working and considering taking his case to court.

Civic inside workers, who carry out municipal duties inside city hall as well as parking enforcement, joined the strike three days after the outside workers.

The city's 800 library staff, represented by CUPE Local 391, have been off the job since July 26, closing 22 library branches.


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