A striking worker was struck by a truck and injured while on the picket line at a Barr Homes construction site in Amherstview, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Terry Moore, 42, had just begun his first picket, at the corner of County Road 23 and County Road 6, when he was struck by a truck owned by Cataraqui Concrete Forming. Moore, alongside other sewer and water main sector workers from the Labourer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 183, walked off the job last week.
“We were just on the picket line, and we’d just been told that we could hold all trucks between five and 15 minutes,” explained Moore over the phone from Campbellford Memorial Hospital where he’d gone to have his injuries looked after. “Then, when the Cataraqui truck came down the hill, he didn’t even stop. Fifteen of us are standing there, and he never even attempted to hit the brakes. By the time I realized that he wasn’t going to stop I tried to get out of the way, and he struck the side of my leg.”
Moore said he had himself worked for Cataraqui Concrete forming for five years and was acquainted with the man behind the wheel. “Right before I joined the union… I ran a crew for them out of Belleville, and he worked for one out of Kingston,” he noted.
This was one of the reasons Moore was the last picketer to get out of the path of the truck.
“I thought he recognized who I was… when he rolled the window down, I thought he was going to stop and talk. I thought I was going to talk to him for five minutes, let him know what was going on, and then let him carry on,” he said. “But he just kept on trucking.”
Moore said he didn’t know the driver, whom he knows only as ‘Albert,’ to be violent or hot-tempered in the past. “When he came rolling through, I was facing him and making eye contact… I figured he would recognize me. The other guys that work with him came over and talked with me,” he recalled of the incident. “He just came and tried to mow me down… if we didn’t jump out of the way, he would have mowed through four or five of us.”
Moore said he told the police he didn’t want the man charged, “Because, like I say, I worked with him and this is the last thing I expected that happened… the cops were going to charge them with assault with a deadly weapon.”
Moore said he suffered severe bruising to his leg, but that he made the drive to Campbellford because it is closer to his home. “The paramedics checked me out [at the site of the incident]. They wanted me to go to Kingston [General] Hospital. But I chose to drive to Campbellford in case I was stuck at the hospital. I don’t want to be stuck in Kingston, because I live in Marmora.”
The E.R. in Campbellford sent him home with a prescription for anti-inflammatories, Moore said, “for the swelling, and then I was just told if it’s not better within a few days to get a hold of my doctor for MRIs or CT scan.”
According to their website, LIUNA Local 183 members are on strike in several sectors besides water main and Sewer, including the provincial forming; framing; tile; carpet and hardwood; and self-levelling sectors, having all rejected proposed settlements. The union is demanding fair compensation for its members given the ongoing increases in the cost of living that are being experienced across Ontario. The job action, by over 15,000 skilled construction Labourers could impact both ground-related and high-rise multifamily residential builds across Ontario.
The large police presence in Amherstview caused concern among area residents. While the OPP confirmed at the time of the incident that there was no risk to public safety, they have not been able to provide any updated information since. It is unknown whether there were any arrests or charges as a result of the incident, however, the OPP have indicated they will provide an update in the next 24 hours.
Repeated attempted communication and requests for comment through Cataraqui Concrete remained unanswered at time of publication.
This is a developing story. Kingstonist will provide updates as more information becomes available.