U of Manitoba faculty member victim of hit and run on picket line, union says

The person hit on the picket line at the university walked away from the incident, "but it could have been much worse," University of Manitoba Faculty Association president Orvie Dingwall said.

Person was 'able to walk away from the incident' on Kings Drive Tuesday morning: UMFA

University of Manitoba Faculty Association members picket at the university's entrance on Chancellor Matheson in Winnipeg Tuesday morning, carrying signs and sometimes blocking traffic. The union says one of its members was hit by a vehicle at a Kings Drive picket line that morning. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

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.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?