Truckers misrepresent employers by joining Ottawa protest, companies say
The latest developments in the protest:
Daniel Miousse was shocked to see a photo of one of his company vehicles among the truck convoy protesters in downtown Ottawa, which was recently posted online.
Miousse, who owns an industrial fencing business near Montreal, said he had no idea the van or its employee was in the nation’s capital.
“One of our employees has been taking our truck since, I think, last Wednesday,” said Miousse, who is currently in Florida. “I was very upset, so I sent four people on Sunday morning to pick up our truck.”
He said he planned to fire the worker.
“I need to see him and ask him a few questions. Why didn’t he ask anyone in the company? Miousse said.
The protest, with shifting goals revolving around ending the COVID-19 rules across Canada, entered its 13th day.
More than 400 vehicles were parked in the city center when police last updated Monday, forcing the closure of downtown streets, businesses and services, while leaving frightened and frustrated local residents and business owners.
WATCH | Some of the developments from Tuesday’s protest:
On February 6, the convoytraitors.ca website, launched by an Ottawa-based computer specialist, began posting the names of companies that had trucks in the protest area, along with photos in an effort to ” name and humiliate” those involved.
Nearly 200 companies were listed as supporting or having trucks in the convoy on Tuesday.
“By naming and labeling, we hope to ensure that all future internet searches will reveal the true nature of these companies,” the website states.
A map on the website shows trucking companies located across Canada and some headquartered in the United States. Those behind the website said a business owner, who supports the protest, sent an email to the webmaster calling the website a disgrace.
Companies far from the challenge
Nova Scotian trucking company Seaboard Transport told CBC it did not support the convoy, but one of its trucks was photographed as part of the protest.
“The convoy and related protests do not represent the beliefs or values of Seaboard Transport,” company vice president Ryan Conrod told CBC in an email.
Many of the transport trucks that have started arriving in the heart of Ottawa are owner-operated, which means they may display a transport company logo, but the driver is not a direct employee. of the company. This is the case with Seaboard, according to Conrod.
“We have contacted the owner of the truck to request that it be removed from the convoy,” he said.
A similar message was delivered by Kimberly Biback of Sharp Transportation Systems in Cambridge, Ontario.
“The truck that was found in Ottawa bore the Sharp logo, but does not belong to Sharp. It’s an independent truck,” Mr. Biback said.
Sharp’s CEO posted on social media that nearly all of the company’s drivers are vaccinated and that no staff drivers will be taking part in the Ottawa protest.
“We have said from the beginning that we respect the constitutional rights of peaceful assembly, but do not support actions and behaviors that violate the rights of others,” Sharp said in a statement on LinkedIn.
“When we heard about the wrongdoing that took place in Ottawa, we immediately expressed our contempt.”
On Tuesday, an Ottawa resident sent a video to the Agropur dairy cooperative complaining that trucks bearing this logo are honking horns, waving flags and taking part in the protest. The resident warned that it was not a “good look” for the co-op.
The company told CBC the drivers were contractors, not employees, and the trucks were not owned by Agropur.
“We completely dissociate ourselves from this event,” said Mylène Dupéré, Vice-President of Corporate Communications at Agropur.
“Hands Are Tied”
Another manager of a transport truck company who spoke to CBC on condition of anonymity said his family had been threatened by those for and against the protest since photos of his trucks were posted on the site of the convoy traitors.
The owner says he doesn’t want trucks with his company logo involved in the protest, but he couldn’t do anything about it.
“The trucks that are in Ottawa are owner-operators. Our hands are tied. They have the right to drive these vehicles, but they have our signs on the doors,” he said.
One of the trucks with his company logo displayed the flag of a far-right extremist organization, according to convoytraitors.ca.
“Of course it bothers me. There shouldn’t be any racism. There’s no place for that. There’s no place for racism,” the manager said.