Supporters of Workplace Mobbing
Start Human Rights Museum!?
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights
is the Asper/Canwest Temple of Hypocrisy
is an affront to human dignity. The process
of elimination at work in mobbing has been equated
to the process used against Jews (and others) during
the Nazi riegn of terror. (See also: Mobbing:
A Familiar Pattern) Mobbing is a plague on humanity
of global proportions and is responsible for the deaths
of countless targets every year. You do not need to
travel the world to find examples of such blatant
violations of human dignity. Such perverse attitudes
and conduct are alive and well right here in Canada,
in our public and private sectors, from the smallest
businesses to our largest corporations.
So, what does this have
to do with the Asper family or Canwest Global,
you may ask? The answer comes from my own chilling,
personal experience with both.
I endured years of torment
at the hands of bullies at the Calgary Herald newspaper.
This abuse reached a fever pitch once Canwest purchased
the Calgary Herald as part of the multi-billion dollar
deal with Conrad Black. Canwest was calling for staff
reductions but I was safe as I was very good at my
job and was half way up the seniority board in the
union of which I was a member (the CNPTU,
'union' I mean a good-ol'-boys-club controlled by
a corrupt clique of self-serving bullies. In
cases of mobbing and workplace bullying unions, contrary
to their raison d'être, generally choose to
allow the abuse of one of its members to continue
unchallenged, preferring to maintain a cozy relationship
with management. In addition to this abdication
of responsibility to represent is the reality that
many unions are themselves directly implicated in
the targeting, assault and betrayal of one of its
(dues-paying) members. Such
was my experience with the CNPTU.
Unfortunately, my exceptional skills
and dedication to a career I loved irked senior union
members and the union executive as my contributions
resulted in greater efficiency and helped to reduced
overtime. My work ethic had been a thorn in
the side of union bullies for many years but
being good at my job and contributing to the success
of the company was the last straw. The harassment
and mobbing intensified with management's full knowledge
The more I demonstrated
my value to the company the more the bullies attacked.
They slandered me to co-workers, supervisors
and management - to anyone who would listen. My character
was assassinated, my work was deprecated and software
I had developed was sabotaged. The bullying had become
malignant and grew into a full blown mobbing.
By this time I had learned about
'mobbing' on the internet. After reading Tim Field's
OnLine and articles by Prof.
Kenneth Westhues I could see what was happening.
Unfortunately by this time most of the damage had
been done. I realized I was at the final stage
(the final solution) of mobbing - elimination.
would not expect a victim of rape to have
to single-handedly identify, trace, catch,
arrest, prosecute, convict and punish
the person who raped her. Targets of bullying
often find themselves doing all of these
whilst those in positions of authority
persistently abdicate and deny responsibility."
and bullying have as much in common as
great sex and rape."
~ Tim Field
I appealed to my supervisors
(some were also senior union members!!) and asked
them to look at what was happening objectively. I
sent them information about mobbing hoping they would
read it and stop the abuse as I had been pleading
with them for many years to do. Emails I sent them
were deleted without being read. I printed copies
of articles about mobbing for them - they were simply
thrown in the trash, as my life would soon be. They
needed to find an excuse to meet the numbers for staff
reductions being demanded by Canwest head office.
They allowed the mobbing and its devastating
effects on my family, my health and my finances to
union refused to do anything, of course, so
I appealled directly to the HR manager. She
refused to intervene and stop the mobbing or re-evalute
the situation objectively despite written recommendations
by my doctor and the company's own EAP
provider. I requested to see the company doctor.
The HR manager refused to allow it. The HR
manager had also "come down hard" (her words)
on the EAP person who had supported me and she insisted
that I meet with a different (ie. less ethical, more
compliant) EAP person the following week to discuss
the situation and the possibility of having to go
on long term disability as a result of the bullying.
Used with permission, courtesy
I agreed to the meeting but it
turned out to be nothing but a stalling tactic and
after being purposely
disabled by union goons and Calgary Herald management,
I was preemptively fired only days before going on
long term disability. To knowingly disable
someone and then to fire them for the disability you
have inflicted is grossly immoral to say the least.
The question of whether it is legal is irrelevant
to companies like the Calgary Herald and Canwest Global.
With their financial resources the already pathetically
feeble laws protecting workers in Canada are rendered
moot. In order to destroy any chance of rebuilding
my life or seeking any legal remedy against the Calgary
Herald or the union I
was denied a severance and was offered nothing after
22 years as a dedicated employee.
As two primary bullies in this
case were senior union members, the union refused
to grieve this outrageous treatment. One of the bullies
was the president of the union and was also allowed
to be on the committee which decided whether or not
to grieve, in spite of my protests of the obvious
conflict of interest. The
union was in full collusion with the company,
my rights were denied and I was railroaded by a corrupt
union executive which abdicated its responsibility
to represent. The treacherous
conduct and depraved indifference of the CNPTU executive
is a disgrace.
consists of the least competent most aggressive
employee projecting their incompetence
on to the least aggressive most competent
employee and winning."
"Nothing can prepare
you for living or working with a sociopathic
serial bully. It is the most devastating,
draining, misunderstood, and ultimately
futile experience imaginable."
~ Tim Field
Mission accomplished. The
union goons had punished me for my work ethic and
the dramatic success of projects I had undertaken
which benefited the company greatly. Weak and incompetent
managers desperate to meet numbers for termination
demanded by Canwest head office were happy to use
this opportunity to placate their superiors - no matter
how valuable or dedicated an employee I had been.
Meanwhile, union bullies, slackers and saboteurs
are rewarded with continued employment.
Contributions I made to the company
were driven by my genuine desire to be the best at
a job I loved, to be worth more than I was paid, going
above and beyond the bare requirements of the job
- providing real shareholder value. The union
and management bullies involved in this mobbing certainly
cannot say the same.
Having learned more about mobbing
I knew senior management at Canwest would not likely
intervene, but they needed to know what was being
done in their name and I wanted to give them the chance
to act honourably - to do the right thing. I
contacted the Asper family (Leonard Asper, David Asper
and Gail Asper) directly in hopes that they would
have the decency and sense to address so serious an
impediment to productivity, profitability, and human
dignity as mobbing. Sadly
and predictably, they did not.
You can imagine my shock
and disgust at learning that the Aspers were
campaigning to develop the Canadian
Museum for Human Rights. The Asper's involvement
in such a project is inappropriate and offensive -
to say the least.
As part of the museum there is
a planned display called "None is Too Many"
which will commemorate the failure of Western countries
to intercede and offer safe haven to Jewish refugees.
Western countries looked the other way while
atrocities were committed, just as the Aspers now
do with employees who are targets of mobbing.
wife's family is honoured to have a member, Pieter
Tigchelaar, who recieved the Yad Vashem Award. (Photo)
1963 Yad Vashem embarked upon a worldwide project
to grant the title of Righteous Among the Nations
to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews
during the Holocaust. To this end, Yad Vashem set
up a public committee headed by a retired Supreme
Court justice, which is responsible for granting
the title. This project is the only one of its kind
in the world that honors, using set criteria, the
actions of those individuals who rescued Jews during
the war." >>>
My wife and family have
suffered, and continue to suffer horribly
as a result of the mobbing. The devastation of mobbing
pervades all aspects of a targets' life and destroys
whole families. I had genuinely hoped that
appealling to the Asper family for help would not
fall on deaf ears precisely because their
family had endured the horrors of the Nazi pogroms.
I thought they would care that violations to human
dignity were being perpetrated in their company and
in their name. The Aspers did not have to risk their
lives as my wifes' family had done while hiding Jews
in their home from the Nazis. Interceding would have
cost the Aspers nothing, it would have been easy for
them to stand up for human dignity. Even so, the
Aspers chose to look the other way, they chose to
do nothing, while our lives were destroyed for nothing
more than the personal amusement of bullies at the
Indifference, to me,
is the epitome of evil.
~ Elie Wiesel
I do not believe this failure can
be ascribed to a lack of courage. Rather it seems
to be a case of utter, depraved indifference
to human misery.
As Gail Asper says in the video
tour of the museum, "Its going to be the
only place that will transform visitors from passive
listeners to active fighters for human rights in this
world." I sincerely hope the Aspers visit the
museum and are so "transformed" themselves.
Perhaps someday when the
Aspers have cleaned thier own house, the Canadian
Museum for Human Rights can be seen as the laudable
project it wants and deserves to be. In
the meantime it remains the Asper/Canwest Temple of
~ Anton Hout
The world is a dangerous
not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.
~ Albert Einstein
I swore never to be
silent whenever and wherever
human beings endure suffering and humiliation.
We must always take sides.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
~ Elie Wiesel
may be times when we are
powerless to prevent injustice,
but there must never be a time
when we fail to protest.
~ Elie Wiesel