U of Manitoba faculty member victim of hit and run on picket line, union says
Person was 'able to walk away from the incident' on Kings Drive Tuesday morning: UMFA
A faculty member on a picket line at the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus was hit by a vehicle whose driver then fled the scene on Tuesday morning, the union representing the school's faculty says.
The person hit "was able to walk away from the incident, but it could have been much worse," University of Manitoba Faculty Association president Orvie Dingwall said in an email to members late Tuesday night.
"Your safety is of the top-most importance and it is unacceptable for a driver to use a vehicle as a threat," the email said.
A representative for the union said the incident happened on a picket line on Kings Drive, but would not provide any further details.
"The member involved in the incident would like to move forward from this and does not want to press charges, so we will not be releasing any more information at this time," Zach Fleisher said in an email.
A spokesperson for Winnipeg police said they had been made aware of the incident, but were advised the person hit did not want to pursue the matter.
The spokesperson said the police service "is aware that labour disputes are typically emotionally charged incidents."
"This is one of the reasons a liaison officer is assigned," the spokesperson said, but no other police resources have been allocated.
Faculty at the university hit the picket lines on Tuesday morning, after contract negotiations with the university reached an impasse.
Just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, about two dozen people were at the school's main entrance on Chancellor Matheson Road, blocking traffic intermittently.
The faculty association, which represents more than 1,000 U of M staff, said picket captains acted immediately after the Tuesday morning hit and run and contacted their police liaison.
A member of the Amalgamated Transit Union, one of the faculty association's supporters, also recorded the incident, the union's email said.
"We are all dismayed by the seriousness of this morning's incident," Dingwall's email said.
"You deserve to be able to demonstrate safely and without the threat of violence. We will continue to work together to protect each other and preserve safety for all on the picket lines."
The union has been fighting for higher wages for its members, arguing that low wages are causing persistent retention and recruitment problems.
The university ranks second to last out of the 15 research-based institutions in terms of salary.
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