Shut your mouth !

The President of the Gatineau firefighters union, Stéphane Noël, was suspended for six months without pay after noting that insufficient water pressure had affected the work of firefighters during the fire that completely destroyed a historic church, the 11 June 2009.

The union president did receive a letter from his employer 22 January, stating that he lacked loyalty to his employer and had contravened an internal policy forcing employees to get permission from the city before the media Addresser.

For this attempt to silence a union activist, the employer seeks thereby to attack the rights of workers to potentially dangerous situations denounce for them and for the public.

The attitude of the City of Gatineau is particularly hypocritical in the broader context or employers constantly emphasizes the selfish side corporatist unions, whereas in this case public safety is clearly at stake.

This suspension also raises the broader question of the right to freedom of expression for workers, who might be subject to censorship from their employers if the interpretation of Gatineau should prevail in court.

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