Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Statement from MGEU unclear on senior staff suspensions

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The Manitoba Government and General Employees Union issued a statement late Friday afternoon in response to a Free Press report that it suspended two of its more senior staffers.

The union still refused to confirm or deny that it had taken the action against directors Bob Dewar and Bruce Buckley. Both are longtime MGEU employees with strong ties to the provincial NDP.

The entire statement reads:

"We were recently alerted to an internal HR matter that we considered serious. We acted swiftly on behalf of our members, investigated the matter, and sought legal advice.

"We do not anticipate a criminal investigation and this doesn’t involve the misuse of funds.

"We’re working to find a solution in the best interests of everyone involved. Our members across the province should know that the MGEU and its staff continue to work hard delivering the services they expect from their union, and that will not change."

Dewar is a former chief of staff to former premier Gary Doer and twice headed successful provincial election campaigns for the NDP. He sits on the board of the Manitoba Federation of Labour.

Buckley chairs the Manitoba Taxicab Board — a political appointment.

Their suspension came as a surprise to labour and NDP officials interviewed this week.

"I was floored by it. I had no inkling that there was anything like this in the works," one source said.

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