NB Power is promising to react “swiftly,” after video surfaced Friday showing one of their trucks involved in an altercation with striking PSAC members in Oromocto, N.B.
The video was taken earlier in the morning at the south gate of CFB Gagetown.
Striking members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents federal employees, can be seen holding a picket line that blocks the road.
The NB Power truck approaches the picketers and the driver blares its horn. Some people jump out of the way, and a man can be seen standing in front of the vehicle, which nudges him forward.
Wayne Jeffery identified himself as the man in the video.
“He broke through the line and literally endangered some of our coworkers. They jumped out of the way and me, being the big dumb idiot I am, I jumped in front of the truck and said, ‘You’re not going nowhere,’” Jeffery said.
“He literally run right up to me and jammed the brakes off.”
Jeffery said he was uninjured, and that RCMP were already at the scene, although he had yet to speak to them about the incident as of early afternoon when he spoke to Motorcycle accident toronto today.
He noted that tensions have been high and that the base can be very busy, but added that the picketers were only blocking entrances for five minutes at a time.
“We’ve had several people this morning bring us coffee and donuts that were members of different workforces in Oromocto or military members,” Jeffery said.
“We’ve had a few close calls speeding through and stuff. But there’s been military police and military there to take care of that.”
The strike entered its 10th day on Friday.
In a statement to Motorcycle accident toronto today, NB Power spokesperson Dominique Couture said the company was aware of the incident and that it would be “dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”
“The individual driving the vehicle is not an employee of NB Power nor a member of the union, but a truck driver trainer under contract,” Couture wrote.
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“The safety of the public is paramount at NB Power and this will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”
IBEW Local 37, which represents many NB Power workers, also spoke out about the incident.
“This was a 3rd party service provider, not an NB Power employee, nor an IBEW member,” they said in a statement.
“We support picket lines and the health and safety of our members and the public.”
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Hans Ouelette confirmed that officers were already on scene at the picket lines when the incident occured.
“The picketer was not injured or did not report injuries, and the driver of that utility truck was pulled over by police and identified. The investigation into that matter is ongoing,” he told Motorcycle accident toronto today.
“He was not taken into custody, but he was pulled over and identified, and as the investigation unfolds, there may be more to come in that situation.”
He added that “individuals do have the right to peacefully and safely assemble” and that police were on scene to “ensure the safety and security of everyone.”
— with a file from Motorcycle accident toronto today’ Robert Lothian
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