News Briefs

Boss gunned down; GM closes plants; Foreign workers awarded $2.4 million; Guidelines for workplace violence
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/11/2009

Boss gunned down

Vancouver — A gunman opened fire at TallGrass Distribution during the company’s Christmas party last month, killing the CEO. A 61-year-old Vancouver man, Eric Allen Kirkpatrick, faces one count of first-degree murder in the death of Benjamin David Banky, his former boss. Kirkpatrick had been let go from TallGrass the day before the shooting, said Vancouver police. No one else was injured.

GM closes plants

Oshawa, Ont. — General Motors will shut down most of its North American plants for the entire month of January and the first two weeks of February in an attempt to reduce inventory and save money. Other Ontario plants are also implementing shutdowns, including Chrysler plants in Windsor and Brampton and Ford plants in Oakville and St. Thomas, affecting about 30,000 workers, said Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza. Ottawa and the Ontario government have pledged $3.4 billion to help the ailing auto industry, but only if Washington comes through with a bailout package.

Foreign workers awarded $2.4 million

Vancouver — A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has found 38 temporary foreign workers were discriminated against while working on the Canada Line, a rapid transit line that will connect Richmond, B.C., with Vancouver, and awarded them $2.4 million. The tribunal ruled the workers from Costa Rica, Ecuador and Columbia, who were paid less than workers from Europe, were discriminated against “on the grounds of race, colour, ancestry and place of origin.” SELI, an Italy-based tunnel contractor, and construction contractor SNC Lavalin have been ordered to pay the workers $10,000 each and provide retroactive compensation. For a look at how the case began, go to article #4614.

Guidelines for workplace violence

Toronto — The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario has released new guidelines to prevent workplace violence. For more information, go to