Hells Angels threaten lawsuit against Saskatoon company
Fired workers claim that company damaged their reputations
Three members of the Hells Angels in Saskatoon are threatening legal action against the owner of a local mining company who fired them this past summer, CBC's iTeam has learned.
Dean Bell, Larry Booth and Scott Fedorwick are claiming damages against Leonard Banga of Xtreme Mining and Demolition Inc. All three identify themselves as members of the motorcycle club.
They’re claiming damages against Banga caused by “defamatory statements, wrongful dismissal, breach of contract, intentional interference with economic relations and inducing breach of contract.”
Angels say the club is getting a bad rap
The bikers hired a Vancouver law firm. Their lawyer has given Banga until January 10 to resolve the issues identified in a five-page letter.
The letter gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a falling out between Banga and the Hells Angels. Banga had employed a number of Hells Angels at his company, which does explosive work in potash mines across the province.
The letter arrived on the eve of a court case involving a former Hells Angel, Jesse Bitz. He is appearing in provincial court this morning for a preliminary hearing in connection to allegations that he threatened to kill Banga. It's alleged the threat was made after Banga fired Bitz from Xtreme Mining.
The Angels contend that they lost their jobs because of a dispute between Banga and Bitz – and that Jesse Bitz has since been kicked out of the club.
The statements made by Banga as well as their effect damaged our clients’ reputations at work and in the community.- Lawyer Gary Caroline
Banga changed his hiring policies at Xtreme six months after his dispute with Bitz. All 200 employees were forced to reapply under the new hiring guidelines, which called on the workers to undergo a criminal record check and declare that they are not members of a criminal organization.
“Since Bitz had been gone for six months by this point and the Hells Angels in XMD’s employ were all senior employees well liked by their co-workers and clients, the statements made by Banga as well as their effect damaged our clients’ reputations at work and in the community,” the letter said.
It said the men are unable to get work in the mining industry because other companies are now adopting similar employment policies as developed by Banga.