TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 2 has uncovered a long history of racist and sexist posts authored by Ken Godevenos, a consultant hired by Tropicana Community Services management. This discovery comes amidst the Tropicana staff strike, a workforce majority comprised of members from the African, Caribbean and Black communities.
Ken Godevenos is the president of Accord Consulting Services, which offers management consulting services for the non-profit sector. Godevenos was hired shortly after workers unionized to act as a labour relations consultant. Since the start of the strike, he has served as a liaison and been an integral part of negotiations.
In one tweet dated on the day the strike commenced on November 9th, Godevenos shared a quote from the founder of a ministry labelled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In reply to a comment under this same post decrying the exigencies of modern-day tolerance, Godevenos comments, “in that case I will take being a racist pariah as being an honor.”
Godevenos has also posted defending the use of the term “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus” when referring to the COVID-19 virus and several posts promoting the conspiracy theories about the virus originating in a Chinese lab.
He has made several disparaging remarks on Black Lives Matter while anti-police brutality protests were ongoing in the United States and Canada. For instance, in a tweet authored on June 27th 2020, Godevenos states: “It appears my white social contacts that you and I are the enemy. #BLM is not so much worried about bettering the life of blacks, as it is destroying and eliminating of the life of whites. Take a look. Your thoughts welcomed.” Godevenos then links to a news article posted on a fringe right-wing site entitled “Black Lives Matter Fliers: WE ARE AT WAR; WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE ENEMY”.
Godevenos’ ire has not been reserved for people of colour. He has made several sexist comments, including a Facebook post authored on October 26th, 2020 where he states: “Why is it that the majority of females who want to connect with me on social media never have original thoughts, but only “like” what others have said? Oh, I know.”
SEIU Local 2 calls on Tropicana management to remove Ken Godevenos from his post, end years of wage freezes and live up to the higher standards of equity and conduct incumbent on a publicly-funded organization.
SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and British Columbia.