Richmond's female firefighters walk off the job

The women cite sexual and life-threatening harassment
||Last Updated: 04/03/2006

All the female firefighters in Richmond, B.C., have left their jobs, citing widespread sexual harassment from their male colleagues.

Two female firefighters have filed action against the fire service in the city south of Vancouver, while the other two women have been on sick leave for nearly two months.

Sandra Jansen filed a discrimination complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Jeanette Moznik, who hasn't worked since 2001, filed a suit with the B.C. Supreme Court alleging that male firefighters committed lewd, pornographic and even life-threatening acts of harassment against her.

Moznik alleged that other firefighters cut off the water supply to a hose she was using to battle a fire, put feces in her boots and pants and displayed hard-core pornography.

Chief Jim Hancock has promised sensitivity training, a new code of conduct and separate washrooms for the women working alongside about 200 men.

Last year, Richmond female fire captain Jocelyn Roberts committed suicide. However, Hancock denied Roberts took her life over work issues as Jansen and Moznik claim.

Another female fire captain, Boni Prokopetz, reached a settlement with nearby Burnaby, B.C., fire department after alleging male colleagues harassed her for more than a decade.

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