Hells Angel fighting dismissal as garbage collector by City of Vancouver last fall

Hells Angel fighting dismissal as garbage collector by City of Vancouver last fall

 

Ronaldo Lising, a Vancouver member of the Hells Angels, is led into the Main Street police station in 1998 by a member. Lising was dismissed by the City of Vancouver last fall after The Province reported he had been hired as an auxiliary garbage collector last May, following his statutory release from an 11-year, nine-month jail sentence.

Photograph by: Ward Perrin , PNG

 

A well-known Hells Angel is fighting to get his Vancouver garbage-collection job back after being fired last fall.

The grievance case of Ronaldo Lising — a notorious B.C. gangster hired with no checks into his extensive criminal record — is one of several important labour battles now underway between city hall and a local union, sources told The Province.

Lising was dismissed by the city after The Province reported he had been hired as an auxiliary garbage collector last May, following his statutory release from an 11-year, nine-month jail sentence. City manager Penny Ballem promised a review into hiring in order to “look at best practice around issues related to organized crime.”

As The Province previously reported, Lising had assured parole officials who were concerned with his continued Hells Angels membership that he would resign from the Angels “as soon as (he) could do so.” But police sources told The Province they weren’t certain Lising had cut ties with the Hells Angels while employed by the city.

In the past month, a number of CUPE 1004 workers told The Province that Lising had challenged his dismissal in a three-step union grievance process, and finally was denied in a hearing with Ballem.

The workers — who are not permitted to talk to the media under union rules — said that Lising is now working with CUPE 1004 lawyer Patrick Dickie, for an expected arbitration hearing.

In a brief phone call, Dickie was asked several questions on Lising’s case and said “no comment.”

B.C.’s human-rights code does not allow employers to discriminate against workers with criminal records unless the employer can prove the discrimination is justified.

“I think Lising’s case is huge,” one source said. “I think Ronaldo’s position is he has done his time, and you can’t punish him now.”

Citing privacy laws, a spokeswoman said city managers “will not be commenting on any action the union may or may not be pursuing on behalf of Mr. Lising.”

As a result of the review into Lising’s hiring last fall, the city “did revise our hiring process to enhance the skills of our manager and supervisors, and implemented mechanisms to better identify indications of affiliation with organized crime,” the spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, CUPE 1004 sources said that the dismissals of Lising and Alex Bruse — a garbage-collection job steward who planned to run for president of the union — will be used to challenge city hall’s grievance processes.

Bruse was fired last week after facing allegations that a co-worker took a tip for removing extra garbage at a Vancouver business. Receiving small tips is not uncommon, workers say. Internal CUPE emails show some members believe Bruse was targeted by managers because he is a strong leader.

“Alex is a battler who will fight for everyone’s rights, and he had the support of the members,” one worker told The Province. An internal CUPE 1004 email sent in April concerning Bruse’s case says: “The problem developing for us is their side of the grievance procedure is being rubber stamped to arbitration ... they have gone up the ladder now, so do we expect (city managers Peter) Judd or Ballem to fairly hear the case?”

A spokeswoman said the city can’t comment on specific cases, but “strongly disputes any suggestion that any employee has been disciplined on the basis of union activity or leadership aspirations.”

 

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Sam Cooper
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theprovince.com




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