NB Power cuts ties with private instructor for driving truck into federal picketers
Health & Safety New Brunswick workplace violence
New Brunswick’s Crown energy corporation has cut ties with a private instructor after a video surfaced showing a heavy NB Power truck driving into a group of federal public service picketers and pushing one down the street.
The driver was contracted from an unnamed private company to train truck drivers and NB Power will no longer be using him as an instructor, said an email Sunday from NB Power spokesperson Clayton Beaton. Two students in a lineman training program were in the truck with the instructor, NB Power said in a news release earlier on Sunday.
“This behaviour is truly unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NB Power,” the release said. “No NB Power employees were involved in this incident, but an NB Power vehicle was involved and therefore our reputation is at risk.”
The RCMP said Friday they were investigating after a video surfaced on social media showing a large NB Power truck honking at a group of people crossing a street in Oromocto, N.B. The truck then drives slowly forward, grazing one person and causing them to stumble out of the way.
The heavy truck then bumps into another person who’d stopped in the street. The looming vehicle nudges the man down the road until he drops his Public Service Alliance of Canada flag and finally jumps out of the way.
Onlookers can be heard in the video yelling, “Oh my God!” and “Move!”
More than 100,000 federal public service workers walked off the job on April 19 after the union and government failed to reach new contract deals for agreements that expired in 2021. The public service union says negotiations with the federal government have been ongoing throughout the weekend.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Hans Ouellette said Sunday the police investigation into the incident in Oromocto was also ongoing. Officers were already in the area Friday and were able to get to the scene quickly, pull the truck over and identify the driver, he said in an interview Sunday.
The picketer wasn’t hurt, Ouellette added.
NB Power could not say Sunday if the driver was still employed by the private company through which he was contracted.
Full statement from NB Power
This is the full text of the statement posted by NB Power following the incident:
As a company that is committed to the safety of every employee and every member of the public, we are deeply troubled by the images that have appeared on social media showing an NB Power vehicle pushing a person involved in the Public Service Alliance of Canada strike in Oromocto today.
This behaviour is truly unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NB Power. No NB Power employees were involved in this incident, but an NB Power vehicle was involved and therefore our reputation is at risk.
The RCMP intervened, the truck was removed from the road and NB Power began an internal investigation immediately. The persons in the vehicle at the time of the incident were an instructor and two students who are part of a lineman training program. The instructor is employed by a private training company, and we have terminated his involvement with NB Power.
All of our contractors are expected to uphold the same safety standards as NB Power. We will continue to do our part to ensure the well-being of our employees and the community members we serve.
with files from OHS Canada
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