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Police involved after incidents at Symphony strike

Two incidents have raised tension and frayed nerves on the picket line as the strike/lockout at Symphony Senior Living at Aspen Ridge in Red Deer continues into its fourth day today.

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees went on strike and were locked out by their employer at the home to 157 residents on Monday.

Judy Bloomfield, an AUPE worker, said she was hit by a car on the picket line this morning at 7:30 a.m. She walked to a nearby walk-in clinic to get checked and was back on the picket line within a few hours.

Lisa Brush, CEO of Symphony Senior Living, which owns the Aspen Ridge seniors home, had a different rendition of the event. She said there is videotape.

“There was an incident this morning where one of the strikers basically threw herself at our general manager’s car as she was rolling slowly over the line,” Brush alleged.

Julie Jacques, an organizer with AUPE, confirmed a worker was hit by a car this morning.

“One of our members was hit this morning by the manager,” said Jacques.

“There was no stopping,” said Bloomfield. “I managed to finally get out of the way.

“I’m sore . . . I thought I might get pushed under the car,” Bloomfield said.

Police were called to the seniors home this morning and spoke with people on the line.

“It was a little scary,” said Jacques. “We’re meeting with the RCMP liaison this afternoon and we’ll take it from there.”

There was also a confrontation on Wednesday night, which Brush said involved a family member of an Aspen Ridge manager.

“One of our manager’s fathers was dying in hospital,” said Brush, adding her teenage daughter came to pick her up from Aspen Ridge and was unable to cross the picket line.

Brush said the manager was not able to get to her father before he died.

Stopping traffic from coming and going is not communicating the workers’ cause, said Brush.

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