Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OC Transpo union president steps down

According to Le Droit, Ottawa's French-language newspaper, André Cornellier, the president of the striking OC Transpo drivers, has stepped down temporarily from his position after he and his family received personal threats:

Depuis le déclenchement de la grève, mercredi dernier, le président de la section 279 du Syndicat uni des transports (SUT), André Cornellier, a reçu cinq courriels portant atteinte à sa sécurité et à celle de sa famille.

[Since the strike began, last Wednesday. the president of Local 279 of the Amagamated Transit Union, André Cornellier, has received five emails threatening him and his family.]

He will be replaced by my old friend Randy Graham, international vice-president of ATU.

In news that may not be unrelated, an official lawyer's letter has been delivered to local radio station CFRA:

L'avocat du syndicat, John McLuckie, a aussi envoyé une lettre à la station anglophone CFRA, demandant à son coloré animateur Lowell Green de se rétracter, pour des propos qu'il a tenus sur les ondes la semaine dernière, et qui inciteraient à la violence à l'endroit de M. Cornellier et des chauffeurs d'autobus d'OC Transpo.

«Dans son émission du matin, M. Green a répété que 's'il était un plus jeune homme', il trouverait une façon d'être physiquement violent à l'endroit du président de la section 279, André Cornellier», est-il écrit dans la lettre dont LeDroit a obtenu copie.

[The union's lawyer, John McLuckie, has also sent a letter to English-language radio station CFRA, demanding that its colourful talk-show host Lowell Green retract remarks he made on the air last week, inciting violence against Cornellier and his OC Transpo drivers.

"In his morning broadcast, Green repeated that 'if he were a younger man' he would find a way to be physically violent towards the president of Local 279, André Cornellier," he wrote in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by Le Droit.

Meanwhile, thanks to the bullying intransigence of Ottawa's unloved Mayor Larry O'Brien, the strike continues, with my Councillor Clive Doucet being one of the few voices of sanity to be heard so far.

[H/t Cas77 msg.#200]

UPDATE: Other media have not confirmed this report. Cornellier might have stepped a little to the side, but not down. He remains very much the leader of his troops.

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