Photo:  NDP leader Jack Layton photographed on the campaign trail eating a smoked meat sandwich, after announcing earlier this year,”I’m almost vegan”.
  • A leaked police report this week revealed that when a Toronto massage parlor was raided by the vice-squad, they found a naked Jack Layton lying inside. After interviewing Layton, police told him that the place was best avoided as illegal things were going on there.  That incident occurred 15 years ago.  But as recently as last year, Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party headed for an unprecedented gains in Monday’s election, has been in the company of individuals against whom there is evidence of illegal conduct.

      Layton has avoided questions during this election campaign about why he gave a rallying speech in October 2010 at a BC Federation of Labour convention at which President Jim Sinclair was re-elected, while evidence linking Sinclair to a scheme to silence a secretary about unfair labour practices remained outstanding.  This scheme was a matter of public record.

        Entries in a Vancouver Police report implicate Sinclair in efforts to intimidate a secretary into muzzling herself about “sweatshop” working conditions inside the executive office of CUPE Local 116, an office staffed exclusively with non-union secretaries.  The secretary, who had left CUPE with two glowing letters of reference, had written to Sinclair outlining unfair labour practices and the constant firing of other secretaries inside CUPE 116.  She discovered that her letter addressed to Sinclair had been turned over to police, maliciously misrepresented to police as evidence of “harassment”.

          The VPD arrived at the secretary’s home to tell her to muzzle herself, and when she obtained a copy of the police report she learned that a woman speaking up about unfair labor practices is, contrary to Sinclair’s public pronouncements, considered “WORKPLACE HARASSMENT.”  When the secretary requested that police delete this label from their records, she was informed in writing that it could not be deleted for “99 years”.

          As the secretary continued to ask questions about the discrepancy between Sinclair’s words to the public and his actual actions, the “OFFENCE” for which she had been investigated and cleared was mysteriously, retroactively, changed in the police report to “OBSCENE COMMUNICATION/HARASSMENT”.  Arranging to have a police report altered constitutes evidence tampering and it is illegal.  The secretary’s next question was what exactly Sinclair found obscene or harassing about a secretary speaking up.
          Efforts by Sinclair and CUPE to shut down discussion of the “sweatshop” operated by CUPE, began after the secretary reported seeing two female co-workers fired after speaking up about issues such as an excessive workload, verbal abuse, and the reneging on a promise to provide a pension. The secretary also reported seeing a third woman, a long time bookkeeper at Local 116, fired after she got cancer and became less efficient.
          Layton has been claiming in this election campaign to be committed to improving pensions and the overall environment for labor, including non-union labor. Yet he is heavily financed by BC Fed President Sinclair, who has for years been intransigent on his position that communication about such issues can be quietly dismissed as, “OBSCENE COMMUNICATION/HARASSMENT”. It’s like the difference between what a massage parlor pretends to be on its business license and the sleasy business that actually occurs behind closed doors.
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