Following a meeting on September 9, 2014 with representatives of CAA North & East Ontario, the Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is calling off actions targeting the automotive insurance group. The dispute began when one of CAA NEO’s independently owned and operated contractors, Glen’s Towing, failed to provide overtime and termination pay to former employee Deepan Budlakoti. He was also provided with a fraudulent Record of Employment and T-4 that didn’t account for all the hours that he worked, as it did not include the many overtime hours worked (paid out at the regular non-overtime rate), attributed to a “commission” line on his pay stubs.
Until recently, Glen’s Towing has operated in the Ottawa area as one of CAA’s contractors. The IWW has learned that CAA NEO ceased contracting with Glen’s Towing in July 2014. The IWW is pleased with the outcome of our meeting with CAA NEO representatives.
Picket actions took place at CAA locations in Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa, Ontario. These actions informed the public about this issue; a meeting between CAA NEO and the IWW took place shortly thereafter. The IWW has agreed to end actions targeting CAA NEO given their demonstration of social responsibility in this matter. The IWW is satisfied that CAA NEO has ceased contracting with Glen Comeau, an employer who routinely violates the Employment Standards Act, and with other measures that CAA has taken to remedy the situation and effect a settlement of this dispute.
However, Mr. Budlakoti’s fight continues. The fraudulent Record of Employment that Glen’s Towing provided Mr. Budlakoti, fails to document any of the overtime hours worked. This has caused Mr. Budlakoti’s Employment Insurance application to be denied due to insufficient hours worked, resulting in further financial hardship. I f all hours worked were properly attributed, Mr. Budlakoti’s EI claim would not have been denied for this reason.
Glen Comeau, who also operates multiple towing companies including 514 Towing in Montreal, continues to avoid all contact with the IWW and the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The IWW is continuing to support an employment standards claim against the employer, Glen’s Towing, and continues to seek an outcome that will make Deepan whole with respect to his EI entitlement by providing him with proper documentation of the hours that he worked.
The IWW wishes to thank Deepan Budlakoti’s supporters in the Ottawa-Outaouais region, as well as members of the Montreal and Toronto IWW branches for their part in organizing actions.
The IWW is a member-driven organization that is willing and dedicated to achieving justice for working people. For more information about the IWW please visit http://iww.org.
John Hollingsworth, Ottawa-Outaouais IWW Secretary, 613-558-3338; Deepan Budlakoti, member, Ottawa-Outaouais IWW, 613-265-1364
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